Traffic disrupted on city’s heaviest rain day so far

Published on Jul 06, 2022 12:39 AM IST

Mumbai: Tuesday’s downpour brought large parts of the city as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to a standstill with traffic needing to be diverted and slowing down to a snail’s pace on several arterial roads due to water-logging in chronic flooding spots, even as a landslide was reported along the Mumbra bypass road heading towards Panvel

Mumbai, India - July 05, 2022 : Vehicles slow Moving and People walk in a Waterlogging on S V Road at Vile Parle West, in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India - July 05, 2022 : Vehicles slow Moving and People walk in a Waterlogging on S V Road at Vile Parle West, in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
ByPratip Acharya, Aroosa Ahmed, Megha Pol

Mumbai: Tuesday’s downpour brought large parts of the city as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to a standstill with traffic needing to be diverted and slowing down to a snail’s pace on several arterial roads due to water-logging in chronic flooding spots, even as a landslide was reported along the Mumbra bypass road heading towards Panvel.

At the Andheri Subway, water levels rose to 3.5 feet as a result of which the traffic police shut down the subway at 7.30 am, and diverted traffic to Balasaheb Thackeray Flyover in Jogeshwari, Milan subway in Santacruz, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale bridge in Andheri.

Several areas in Breach Candy were submerged on Tuesday. “In Breach Candy, roads and nearby areas were under water. This has become a regular thing during monsoon due to the Coastal Road work. Civic officials had to pump out the water using dewatering pump,” said Ashok Gupta, a resident.

At least 2,800 traffic policemen were deployed to ease traffic. “We were continuously updating the traffic situation on our Twitter handle [@MTPHereToHelp] and making announcements over the radio,” Raj Tilak Roushan, deputy commissioner of police (HQ), said.

Traffic jams, however, were reported on the Western Express Highway, particularly from Dahisar to Kandivli. Large tracts of adjoining Juhu, Veera Desai Road, Lokhandwala and Oshiwara, where metro work construction as well as other infrastructure work is ongoing, were also waterlogged for several hours on Tuesday.

“It’s ironical that Andheri ranks second-highest each year in terms of property tax collection, yet we are deprived of basic civic amenities. Our roads get filled with potholes even after a short spell of rain and the problem of flooding in Andheri subway has remained unresolved for decades,” said Dhaval Shah, a member of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association.

“Andheri Subway is a low-lying area and a major flooding spot. To resolve this, we have proposed creating trenches in the area that would channelise the water. IIT Bombay is creating a report for this project and work will start as soon as the report is finalised. Meanwhile as a temporary measure, we have installed two pumps under the flyover,” a civic engineer said.

In the island city, water logging was reported in chronic spots like King’s Circle, Dadar Parsi Colony, Dadar Hindu Colony, Wadala and Sion. Several roads were partially submerged with one ft-high water levels causing traffic jams. Civic ward offices set up dewatering pumps close to storm water drains in parts of Antop Hill and Sion.

“If the intensity of rains is sporadic then there is no major waterlogging. However, if the rainfall continues for longer than two hours than all the roads in these areas became affected,” said Nikhil Desai, a local resident of King’s Circle, who was stuck in traffic for over an hour while driving to Wadala on Tuesday morning.

“The stretch between Dr BR Ambedkar Road and Dadar TT was affected. Potholes were visible on the road making it dangerous for motorists,” said Ranbir Baxi, a Sion resident.

However, the two chronic flooding spots, Gandhi Market and Hindmata Junction, did not report severe water logging. The BMC constructed holding tanks in St. Xavier’s ground and Pramod Mahajan ground last year. While in previous years, it would take more than six hours for the water to recede, on Tuesday water drained out within an hour from these locations.

“In Hindmata the water level was less than six inches due to which the vehicular movement wasn’t affected. We are now working towards creating similar holding tanks in Milan Subway after which the situation in the suburbs will also be tackled to a large extent,” said P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner (Projects).

Waterlogging of up to three inches was also reported on railway tracks at Sion, Kurla, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Mankhurd and Panvel railway stations due to which local train services on the mainline between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan/Karjat and Kasara railway stations were delayed by 30 minutes and local trains on the Harbour railway between CSMT and Panvel faced delays of 15 minutes.

“My shift is from 11 am to 7 pm but I left early as our office declared a half day,” said Supriya Pawar, 39, a social worker who lives in Badlapur. The BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) diverted buses on 50 routes.

“I had no option but to work. I run a business of supplying dry food and breads and I had to work like this even during the lockdown and when cyclone had hit the city last year,” said Lalaji Chauhan.

Landslide in Thane

Commuters in Kalyan, Thane and Navi Mumbai were caught in major traffic snarls. One person was injured in a wall collapse in Thane, while a major landslide was witnessed along the Mumbra Bypass Road going towards Panvel, which led to the stretch being closed down till late on Tuesday. In Thane, 58-year-old Gopal Panchal suffered injuries in a wall collapse incident. In Mumbra’s Dattawadi locality, residents of a building were evacuated due to another wall collapse and shifted to a civic school. In Navi Mumbai, a newly constructed road leading to the site of the upcoming airport, under the Ulwe and Wahal flyovers were flooded, and some vehicles including a private bus, had to be towed.

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