The rain and the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) 12th anniversary rally near Sion combined to cause traffic jams in eastern and central parts of the city on Friday. Trains booked by the NCP for its supporters caused a delay in the Central Railway’s (CR’s) suburban services too.
It didn’t help that several roads are full of potholes. Traffic on the Eastern Express Highway, Goregaon, P D’Mello Road, Malad and Dadar was hit due to the crowds attending the rally and the downpour.
“Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said they are filling potholes and cleaning drains, but they started too late. Once again, we are not prepared for the monsoon,” said a traffic police official speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Srishti Pathak, a Wadala resident, said: “With the trees, piles of rubbish and food stalls on the pavements, there is often no space to walk. Passing cars splash puddle water on you and the trains are perpetually late.”
The civic Disaster Management Cell said flooding was recorded at 13 places across the city. The BMC deployed 55 water pumps to flush out the water. Eleven pumps were deployed in South Mumbai, and 44 in the suburbs.
CR said the long-distance trains booked by the NCP entered the city all at once. The “bunching” of trains between Mulund and Diva, caused a delay of 15 to 20 minutes in suburban services. “The matter was resolved within half an hour, but services did slow down,” said V Malegaonkar, CR’s chief public relations officer.
The NCP booked the trains for its supporters from Nagpur, Solapur, Latur and Pandharpur for its rally at Somaiyya ground.
Meanwhile, at Thane station, it was mistakenly announced that trains were late due to a derailment, which caused chaos. But a clarification — that trains were delayed due to a technical glitch — was announced almost immediately.