Heavy rain affected life in the city on Thursday, disrupting road and rail traffic, mainly in the morning.
Train services were delayed by 15 minutes due to flooding and poor visibility on Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR), said their spokespersons. WR had to cancel seven trains and, beyond Borivli, there was a 25-minute delay. Passengers, however, claimed that WR and CR were running 40 minutes and 25 minutes late respectively.
The downpour in Thane district also hit services. “We couldn’t run trains beyond 30 kmh,” said a motorman.
WR officials said that the heavy overnight rain caused flooding on the tracks at Virar, Nallasopara, Borivli and Charni Road. “We have asked staff to man the water pumps when it rains heavily,” said WR Public Relations Officer Nitin David.
WR has 55pumps, while CR has 51 at low-lying areas to drain water from the tracks.
Nearly 500 men on both divisions are working round-the-clock to monitor the situation and report flooding to the nearest station master, who in turn would alert the railway control room.
Both WR and CR were back on schedule, barring minor delays, by afternoon. “We have widened drains at low-lying areas like Parel and Vikhroli, and removed silt from them,” said CR Chief PRO S. Mudgerikar.
Similar works were carried out at Charni Road, Grant Road, Mahim, Santacruz and Virar over May and June by WR.
Road traffic was hit too. Traffic snarls forced the traffic police to deploy additional men. Traffic moved slowly at several places till the rain eased.
A traffic police official said, “We had to deploy 1,200 more men to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Matunga, Sion, Wadala, Parel, King’s Circle and Lalbaug were the worst hit as they are low lying. However, by late afternoon, the rain eased and traffic started normalising.”
The civic Disaster Control Room reported six house/slab collapses and one landslide in Goregaon (East). There were no casualties.
The rain led to a slab collapse at N.M. Joshi Marg, wall collapses at Andheri (East), Vikhroli and Panjarpol and a mezzanine floor collapse at Bandra (East). Thirteen trees were uprooted.
There were two minor landslides at Mahul and Goregaon. A building in Andheri housing a Property Department office developed cracks and was evacuated.
Taxis and rickshaws refused to play in some areas as drivers didn’t get a chance early in the day to fill CNG or check their vehicles. “There were long queues at CNG stations, because of which some cabs couldn’t ply,” said A.L. Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Association.
There have been complaints about Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses developing problems, especially those bought under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Two days back, BEST Committee members had voiced their concern over the quality of the buses.
At least 100 buses are lying in depots or are in the repair shop after heavy rain earlier. BEST General Manager O.P. Gupta admitted that there were problems, but pointed out that the number of engineers maintaining them wasn’t enough.