Mumbai Redux: marooned again | india | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai Redux: marooned again

india Updated: Jul 05, 2006 01:47 IST

Flights hit, people struggle to get home

HEAVY RAINS lashed the city for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday throwing life out of gear. Several low-lying areas including Kurla, Kalina, Kala Chowki, Parel, Dadar, Hindmata, Goragoan, Jogeswari were inundated causing residents to shift to safer places.

At Kurla and Kalina, the authorities evacuated residents in boats and kayaks. Six persons were electrocuted, while a falling tree killed another. One person drowned at the Milan Subway taking the toll to eight.

The airport was affected and more than 50 flights were delayed. Several inbound flights were diverted due to poor visibility. There were reports that the airport was closed from 12.30 to 1.30 pm due to water logging. But the airport management denied this, insisting that the runway was fine and that the delays were due to poor visibility. Flights were delayed from 30 minutes to one hour.

Almost all outbound flights operated normally, while many inbound flights were either cancelled or diverted.

The weather bureau recorded 184 mm of rainfall in Colaba and 191.5 mm in Santa Cruz till 8.30 pm. Civic officials and policemen were in full strength on the streets cleaning choked drains and helping people reach homes.

The water logged railway tracks stranded hundreds of commuters on their way to office and back home by bringing the local train service on the Central Railway to a standstill. Western Railway suburban trains ran through the day.

The BEST Undertaking put additional buses on the roads to help stranded passengers even in the neighbouring cities of Thane and Navi Mumbai.

South Mumbai was least affected on Tuesday but offices reported very little crowd. Most of the offices preferred to send back employees fearing a downpour. With the playgrounds of the gymkhanas at Marine Drive were ankle-deep in water, players shifted across the road on the footpath adjacent to the Arabian Sea. The Girgaum Chowpatty beach stretches had only a few people and even lesser children running around on the water-filled beach.

While it was fun and play at the seaside, people waiting for train services to resume looked worried. Pensive office goers waited in vain at the Churchgate and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus for trains.

Ajit Mehta, a Borivali resident working in Nariman Point said, “I left home early as usual as the trains were running regularly in the morning. Little did I anticipate that by the time I would reach the office, the rains would disrupt the city to such an extent that the office would shut down early.” Mehta was just one of the few waiting for trains at Churchgate station.