It took just 58mm of rainfall over a few hours on Friday evening to wash away Mumbaiites’ hopes and the civic body’s claims on the city’s monsoon-preparedness.
The civic disaster control room received around 100 distress calls from across the city complaining of rain-related problems, with water-logging topping the list.
This, however, shouldn’t surprise you. HT has been reporting how an audit by a panel of six experts found out that the city was yet again ill-prepared for the monsoon. The audit gave the civic body a paltry 4 out of 10 for its work ahead of the rains.
On Friday, the city saw why. The city witnessed water-logging across Chembur, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Malad, Andheri and Mahim.
“Except Mahim, where there was heavy flooding at the junction, all the other areas witnessed localised flooding, with little flooding on the main floor,” said an official from the control room.
Apart from this, the city also witnessed at least nine tree falls. “Neither was the train reliable nor were cabbies accepting fares citing water-logging and traffic,” said a Mulund resident.
But if you were to ask why your city collapsed in the first of the season’s showers, you are not likely to get answers. While railway authorities insisted that trains were not delayed owing to the rainfall, civic authorities said that minor water-logging was ‘localised flooding,’ which is caused by local drains clogged by garbage thrown by locals.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said 95% of the desilting work in the city had been completed and blamed the railways for the mess.
“We have cleaned almost the entire major drains network in the city with 95% of the estimated silt removed,” said a senior civic official.
The BMC said it had paid both Central and Western Railways around Rs2.5 crore to clean the drains. “In an inspection of drains earlier this week, we had pointed out a few spots where cleaning of drains wasn’t over. It is their responsibility to finish it now,” said the official.
A CR official, however, said: “We had carried out joint inspections in May itself and the BMC had said that our work was satisfactory. Then, why should they raise objections now?”
Monsoon has arrived two days early: MET
The weather bureau on Saturday said the monsoon had reached the city two days before the estimated onset date that had been declared as June 10.
“The weather conditions have been favourable. It has reached Mumbai and will now move to north of Mumbai to areas such as Dahanu, Nashik and Gujarat,” said DV Mishra, duty officer, western region, India Metereological Department.