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Mumbai rains: High tide at Marine Drive washes girl away, boy missing in Mahim

Two cases of of drowning reported were reported on Tuesday.

cities Updated: Jun 28, 2017 10:46 IST
HT Correspondent
High tide at Marine Drive in Mumbai, on June 25, 2017.
High tide at Marine Drive in Mumbai, on June 25, 2017. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

The city was jolted out of their extended weekend slumber after heavy rain lashed the city on Tuesday morning. Water-logging, traffic snarls and rail disruptions on the central and harbour lines made life difficult for commuters. A high tide measuring 4.81m hit the city at 2.39pm after which two cases of drowning were reported — 17-year-old Preeti Krishna Pise drowned was swept away into the sea at Marine Drive, while the fire brigade was, at the time of going to press, still searching for a young boy, who locals feared drowned at Mahim creek.

Senior police inspector, Vilas Gangawane, Marine Drive police station, said, “The Marine Drive promenade was crowded and we were constantly making announcements about the high tide.” Gangawane said. He said Pise, a resident of Chunabhatti studying at Wilson College, was jumping as waves lashed the promenade. “Suddenly, a big wave swept her away,” Gangawane said.

Heavy intermittent rain resulted in water-logging at many locations across the city, although the BMC claimed water-logging was reported only at Sion and Vidyavihar. A civic official, on condition of anonymity, said, “Even if there was water-logging, it lasted for less than 15 minutes because the pumps were made operational immediately.” According to the BMC, 79 de-watering pumps were operationalised on Tuesday afternoon to mitigate flooding — 38 were operational in the island city, 26 in the eastern suburbs and 15 in the western suburbs.

Citizens, however, took to Twitter to complain about water-logging at Sion, Matunga, Mahim, Hindmata, Ghatkopar, Dadar, the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli linking road (JVLR) and parts of Malad and Andheri. Nikhil Desai, a resident of Matunga said, “It rained for half-an-hour and several locations were flooded. Why is the BMC claiming to be monsoon ready every year when it is clearly not.”

The rain threw three suburban services on the main and harbour lines of Central Railway (CR) out of gear. Services were running around 30 minutes late during morning peak hours. Trains on the Western Railway were running behind schedule by 10-15 minutes. Even the Thane-Vashi transharbour line services were hit because of a technical snag in a local train.

According to railway sources, more than 50 suburban services were cancelled and several others were delayed because of water-logging and a technical snag. A CR spokesperson, however, said only 16 services were cancelled, while the Westerbn Railway (WR) spokesperson did not respond.

Main and harbour line services on CR were mainly hit because of water-logging on the tracks between Sion-Kurla and Chunabhatti-Kurla respectively. Water-logging at Mahim also added to commuters’ woes on harbour line. Railway sources said a snag in the signaling system at Kurla and Mankhurd led to the disruption of services.

This is the second time suburban services on CR were thrown out of gear because of rain in less than three days. Earlier, CR suburban services were badly hit because of water logging at Kalwa and Thane stations on Sunday. Railway authorities had blamed the Thane Municipal Corporation’s road-widening work for water-logging at Kalwa station.

While two incidents of drowning were reported, a 52-year-old lady was rescued by locals near the Dahisar river. Mahananda Butte was found drowning at the river at 8am on Tuesday.

A road cave-in was reported at building number 9, Sangarsh Nagar in Chandivli. The fire brigade moved people living in the building out and barricaded the entire road as a precaution.

Until Tuesday morning, 22 trees had been uprooted across the city, followed by another 39 between 8am and 3pm on Tuesday. Of these, nine were in the island city, 16 in the eastern suburbs and 24 in the western suburbs. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in any incident.

Rains in the catchment areas have also increased water levels by 3,000 million litres as of Tuesday morning, close to one day’s supply for the city. The lakes supplying water to the city currently has 3.5 lakh million litres.

Weathermen have predicted heavy showers for Mumbai on Wednesday too. Mumbai will also witness another high-tide measuring 4.60m at around 3.23 pm on Wednesday. Heavy rain coupled with a high tide only increases the chances of inundation.