Mumbai drowns under its monsoon woes
The house was located on the banks of the nullah in Santacruz (East), according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s disaster management cell.Updated: Aug 05, 2020 06:07 IST
A house collapse leading to two deaths, waterlogging and shutting of local train services – heavy rain in the city and suburbs since Monday night brought back every year’s monsoon woes.
Four from a family fell into a nullah in Vakola after parts of a ground-plus-one house collapsed along with the retaining wall around 11.30am. Two of them – a 1-year-old girl and a 26-year-old woman – died, a three-year-old girl was rescued and was in stable condition, while one girl was missing. The house was located on the banks of the nullah in Santacruz (East), according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s disaster management cell. The Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had suspended search operations at the time of going to press owing to the darkness. The search will continue on Wednesday. “The house was constructed using support from the wall, and was probably an illegal structure. The load of the structure might have also resulted in the wall collapse, due to which parts of the house collapsed,” said a BMC official. “No major evacuation of those residing on the banks of the rivers or nullahs was undertaken on Tuesday, but will be undertaken, if necessary. The situation of Covid-19 also has to be considered before moving citizens to nearby municipal schools.”
The heavy rain till 12 noon led to waterlogging in 20 locations. At 9am, BMC asked all non-essential offices to remain shut. Traffic was affected on several roads owing to the closure of Milan subway, Andheri subway, Khar subway, Malad subway, National College and Dahisar subway.
Train services on the Central Railway’s (CR) main and harbour line were shut in the morning owing to waterlogging at Kurla, Wadala, Chunabhatti and Parel stations. CR’s local train services on the main line resumed at 2.55pm, and on the harbour line at 4.08pm. On the Western Railway (WR), train services between Churchgate and Andheri were suspended due to waterlogging in the morning.
“Due to heavy rain, about 200mm water was reported on tracks between Dadar and Prabhadevi. After water levels receded, the first slow train from Andheri resumed at 11.40am and fast local train service from Virar resumed at 12.45pm.” said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer, Western Railway.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) also diverted its buses on more than 56 routes in the city owing to waterlogging on 26 roads. Waterlogging was also reported at Hindmata, Gandhi market, SIES College, Sion, Dadar TT, Bhendi Bazar, JJ flyover junction, Thakurdwar in Marine Lines, Postal Colony in Chembur, Chunabhatti railway station, Mankhurd station and Tilak Nagar station.
Two minors, including Adnan Shaikh, 5, and Imran Shaikh, 13, were injured as a tree fell on their house. The incident was reported at 2.11am on Tuesday at Chembur’s HP Nagar. Both were admitted to Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi. Overall, 142 incidents of tree/ branch fall were reported between 8am on August 3 and 6pm on August 4.
Further, a landslide was reported on the Western Express Highway near Malad around 7.30am. No injuries were reported, but traffic on the southbound lane was hit for a few hours as the debris was being cleared.
Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, mayor Kishori Pednekar and guardian minister Aaditya Thackeray visited several parts of the city on Tuesday to take a stock of the situation. Thackeray visited Hindmata and Gandhi market junction where rain water did not drain out for hours. Chahal also visited Mithi river, BKC, Milan subway and Andheri subway.
Sanjay Darade, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “We briefed them about the situation and the ground challenges. By the time, rain got lighter, high tide was scheduled due to which rainwater took time to drain out. Our pumps were working fine, and the drains were also cleaned before the monsoon.”
Nikhil Desai, a civic activist from Matunga said, “BMC spent around ₹100 crore to widen the drain at Hindmata, but despite this, we see flooding there. Several areas were waterlogged till 5pm, when there was no or light rain. This means that cleaning of drains was not done properly.”
Meanwhile, starting Wednesday, 20% water cut will be implemented in the city owing to low rainfall in catchment areas. The water level in the seven lakes supplying drinking water to Mumbai was 34.95% as of Tuesday, compared to 91% in 2019 and 83% in 2018.