Downpour paralyses Mumbai

MUMBAI: Torrential rains lashed Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and other parts of Maharashtra for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, severely affecting normal life and paralysing the lifelines — local train and bus services — in the state capital and leading the state government and civic authorities to sound a high alert.
Expressing concern over the rain situation in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people of the state to “stay safe” and take all essential precautions while speaking to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take stock of the developments.
“The centre assures all possible support to the Maharashtra Government in mitigating the situation due to heavy rains in parts of the state,” Modi said in a series of tweets.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that in one hour, Mumbai recorded a staggering 70 mm rainfall, while it touched 100 mm between 8.30 am and 1 pm.
Giving the figures till 3 pm, the BMC said Mumbai received 106 mm rainfall in about six hours, while the eastern suburbs got 78.5 mm and the western suburbs notched 85 mm during the same period.
The state government has requisitioned the services of five disaster management teams, including three from Pune, and a holiday has been declared for all college and schools on Wednesday, said Education Minister Vinod Tawde.
The India Meteorological Department has forecast “heavy to very heavy rains” for Mumbai and entire Konkan region during the next 24 hours owing to a “low pressure” area over south Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh, which was expected to be upgraded to a “deep depression”.
The BMC appealed to people not to step out of their home unless absolutely necessary, while the entire civic force — Mumbai Police, Fire Brigade and other agencies — were on high alert to combat the situation.
Since Tuesday morning, many parts of Mumbai and suburbs were inundated with up to three to four feet of water on the highways, main and arterial roads, bylanes, housing complexes, railway stations and even the Mumbai Airport.
However even with more than 180 trees and half a dozen walls collapsing in different parts of the city, flooding and waterlogging, there were no casualties.
Around 6.30 am the rains triggered a landslide in adjoining Thane district, leading to derailment of 10 coaches of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express but there were no casualties.
The torrential rains have hit the immersion ceremonies on the fifth day of the Ganeshotsav on Tuesday, with many marquees deciding to postpone it by two days. — IANS