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Monday, September 3, 2012

Season’s wettest day cripples city commuters Third-Heaviest Sept Rain In A Decade

Mumbai: Life in Mumbai was thrown out of gear on Monday as the city received the heaviest rainfall of the season and the third heaviest one-day rainfall in September in a decade. Local trains were cancelled or delayed, major roads got submerged and citizens returning 
home got stranded either at work or on roads and in trains. The authorities blamed at least two fatalities and six casualties on the unremitting showers. 
    Between 8.30am and 8.30pm on Monday, the meteorological department said Colaba got 79.2mm of rain 
and Santa Cruz 148.9mm. The earlier record of this monsoon was registered at Colaba on August 29—91mm. In September 2005, Mumbai had received 223.3mm of rain in a 24-hour period and in the same month in 2009 a little more than 160mm. The department has predicted "heavy to very heavy" rainfall on Tuesday. Levels in the six major lakes that supply water to the city rose appreciably. 
Trains ran late by 45-50 minutes on the CR Main line and 30 minutes on the Harbour line. On WR, locals were delayed by 20 minutes; Bumper-to-bumper traffic reported on the Eastern and Western Express highways 
Milan & Andheri subways, Hindmata, Jogeshwari, Ghatkopar, Chembur, Sion, Matunga, Film City Road, Babulnath, Sewri and Thane were badly affected 

RAINFALL BETWEEN 8.30am & 8.30pm 
Island city 101.6mm Western suburbs 157.4mm Eastern suburbs 143.9mm 
WET LANDS Bhandup 190mmGoregaon 208mm Bandra 243mm RAIN TOLL Two died on Monday, one due to electric shock, other by drowning 
Heavy to very heavy rainfall in the city and its suburbs in the next 24 hours. High tide of 4.01 metres at 2.12pm
Steady downpour drenches city in woes 
    Mumbai was saved on Monday from a repeat of the 2005 deluge because, providentially, around the time of the high tide—1.43pm—the showers reduced in intensity. 
    Nevertheless, the effects of the downpour did not take long to show. As heavy rains lashed the city again after a pause, several schools shut down for the second half of the day. By 4pm, water began gathering in various neighbourhoods. A few hours later, there was chaos. 
    More than 30 spots were heavily waterlogged and traffic snarls built up almost everywhere. Motorists and bus passengers were stuck in jams on J J flyover and Dadar's Tilak bridge. Eastern and western express highways were chock-a-block with vehicles. 
The Andheri and Malad subways were shut from both directions and traffic diverted to S V Road. Gandhi Market at Sion was under 2-feet water and motorists told to take RA Kidwai Marg. As usual, auto and taxi drivers fleeced hapless commuters. 
    "I got into my car from Plaza Cinema in Dadar (West) and it took me 40 minutes to cover half 
    kilometre. The continuous downpour made it difficult for cops to regulate traffic," said Archana N, a Sion resident who was travelling with her son. Wisely, she utilized the time by making the child study in the vehicle for an exam on Tuesday. 

    Traffic also came to a standstill at MIDC in Andheri (East), Linking Road between Andheri and Bandra, LBS Marg at Kurla and many, many other places. 
    Thane, too, witnessed similar scenes as it got 218mm of rain from 8am to 8pm. Parts of the lake city were submerged and thousands of passengers were stranded at Thane, Thakurli, Kalyan and Dombivli stations. 
    Rail traffic, indeed, bore the brunt of the downpour as hard as the road network. Central Railway cancelled 25 services till 10pm and Western Railway 30 services. Several trains on WR and CR ran slow, halting often between stations. Due to a technical fault near Khar, Harbour Line services ran only up to Bandra for an hour beginning 7.30pm. 
    WR's PRO Nitin David reported waterlogging at Bandra and a track failure at Santa Cruz, which led to "bunching of trains and delay in services of about 20 minutes". CR's PRO A K Singh said, Our trains ran late by 45-50 min
utes during peak evening hours on Main Line and by 30 minutes on Harbour Line." Singh blamed the delay on waterlogging at Govandi, Mankhurd and Chembur on Harbour Line as well as at Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar, Sion and Bhandup on Main Line. 
    Borivli resident Sharada Vyas complained, "My 6.52pm Borivli train from Churchgate got stuck for about an hour between Dadar and Matunga. During that period, 
there was no power in the train." 
    For a while, air traffic too was delayed by about 15 minutes. 
    The BMC said the island city received 101.6mm of rain on Monday, while the eastern and western suburbs got 157.4mm and 143.9mm, respectively, from am to 8pm. What's more, many areas recorded over 200mm of rainfall in the 12-hour period. Of all areas, Bandra received the highest rainfall—242.8mm. 
    "An upper air cyclonic circulation is active north-east of Mumbai because of which the area has received heavy rainfall," said V K Rajeev, director of weather forecast at the Indian Meteorological Department, Mumbai. "We expect the situation to prevail for some time." The department said such heavy 
showers are unusual towards the end of the monsoon. 
    According to the BMC, there were two rain-related deaths on Monday. In Ghatkopar, 
    75-year-old man died after coming in contact with a live wire; in Mulund, a 26-year-old man was found dead in an immersion pond. In Santa Cruz, a 30-year-old man was injured in a wall collapse. And in Chunabhatti, a landslide caused a house collapse that injured five people. 
    (With inputs from Manthan K Mehta, Bhavika Jain, Shreya Bhandary & Somit Sen)



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