Heavy rain, overflowing Mithi River, high tide throw life out of gear in Mumbai
Heavy showers since Friday night, coupled with Mithi River crossing its danger mark and the highest high tide in four months, threw life out of gear in the city on Saturday. Several areas were waterlogged; traffic slowed to a crawl on arterial roads; commuters on Central Railway (CR) were stranded; and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared holiday for schools and colleges.
At 4.90m, the high tide level on Saturday was the highest in four months, flooding roads and tracks. The water level of Mithi River also touched its danger mark, prompting the BMC to evacuate 250 people in Kranti Nagar, Kurla. Manish Valanju, assistant municipal commissioner, L-ward, said, “We have evacuated around 250 people residing near Mithi as the river was rising towards the danger mark of 3.6m as a preventive measure. The overflowing river flooded tracks near Kurla.”
The Dahisar River also crossed its danger mark on Saturday morning. Sandhya Nandekar, assistant commissioner, R-North ward, said, “We didn’t have to evacuate any residents living on the banks as rains had stopped.”
From Friday morning to Saturday, Mumbai recorded around 234.5mm rainfall. This led to waterlogging in Borivli; Kandivli; Goregaon; Andheri; Matunga; Parel; Dadar; King’s Circle; Sion; Matunga; Vikhroli; Ghatkopar; LBS Marg in Kurla; Bhandup; Mulund; Hindmata; and Wadala. While Mulund station was flooded, Malad and Andheri subways were temporarily shut. However, the water started receding by noon. The BMC set up relief camps for stranded passengers and evacuated citizens at CSMT, Dadar and Kurla stations; Manohardas School; Bora Bazar; Gokhale Municipal School; Bhavani Shankar Road, Dadar (West); and Moreshwar Patankar School, Kurla (West).
Several BEST buses were diverted and CR services were suspended owing to waterlogged tracks. Till 11am, vehicular traffic had slowed to a near standstill in the city. On the western express highway (WEH), a traffic jam was reported from Kandivli to Andheri in the morning, which was cleared by afternoon. SV Road; Siddheshwar Mandir jetty in Malad; Behram Baug in Jogeshwari; Hanuman Nagar and Akurli Road in Kandivli (East); Sardar Pratap Singh Sankool Janta Market at Bhandup; Link Road towards InOrbit and Infinity malls in Malad; Jankalyan Nagar at Malad West; JVLR; among others, reported traffic congestion.
Traffic police officers said 2,800 policemen were deployed on the roads. The scenario improved after 3pm when waters receded. However, some major areas such as Kalanagar Government Colony on WEH; the northbound road towards Santacruz; Sion flyover; and Dadar TT remained waterlogged.
The forest department also decided to shut Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) for tourists on Saturday. “The overflow from Tulsi lake and Dahisar River led to waterlogging in several areas of the park,” said Dinesh Singh, assistant conservator of forest, SGNP. He said the park’s boating area has been cordoned off till Monday. “We request citizens to reach out to 1916 if they are stuck in the park. If the rain intensity doesn’t reduce, SGNP will remain closed on Sunday too,” said Singh.
The BMC has appealed to citizens to not believe in rumours and contact its helpline, 1916, to verify monsoon related updates.
Meanwhile, owing to the high tide on Saturday afternoon, the sea threw up around 15 metric tonnes of garbage along Marine Drive. Vinayak Vispute, assistant municipal commissioner of BMC’s C-ward, said, “We were removing this garbage from noon till late evening. Around 60 labourers and one JCB was used.”