The US Consulate in Mumbai has issued a travel advisory to its citizens informing them of the perils of visiting the city during the rains.
It cautions US natives to be careful while walking: “Bombay Municipal Corporation workers will open manhole covers, and there will be no warning markers placed around these... It’s possible that you could inadvertently step into an open manhole,” says the advisory.
A similar advisory was issued in 2005.
Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak denied that manholes are left uncovered. “We put up flags and station attendants,” he said. Citing an article about the recent floods in the US Midwest, Phatak said India is not the only country experiencing heavy rains. “We’ve never seen more than 100 mm rainfall in the first week of June since 2001.”
But Phatak conceded that he too would ask people to stay away from the city. “Even I would not recommend my relatives to come to Mumbai as tourists because of heavy rainfall.”
(With Inputs from Sujit Mahamulkar and Puja Pednekar)