38 spots waterlogged within 2 hours of heavy rainUpdated: Jul 04, 2020 00:46 IST
After two hours of heavy rain on Friday morning, waterlogging was reported in 38 parts of the city, washing away the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) claims of having completed most of its monsoon preparation.
However, BMC said the waterlogging was due to rainfall coinciding with a 4.41-metre high tide at 10.49am.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), between 8.30am and 8.30pm on Friday, Colaba recorded 161.4 mm rain, while 102.7 mm rain was recorded in Santacruz. Overall, the number of waterlogging spots in Mumbai increased to 336 this year from 273 in 2019.
“There was no problem with our pumps and nor was the passageway for drainage blocked anywhere, but waterlogging was reported due to high tide along with rainfall,” said Sanjay Darade, deputy municipal commissioner (stormwater drains). During high tide, BMC closes floodgates to keep the rising seawater from entering the city, which prevents rainwater draining out.
Flooding was reported in areas known to be prone to waterlogging, like Hindmata in Dadar as well as parts of Sion and Milan subway in Santacruz. Slow-moving traffic was reported in both the island city, at areas like Churchgate, Worli Naka and Nana Chowk, and in the suburbs.
Traffic needed to be diverted due to waterlogging in some parts of the city.
Sandeep Bhajibhakre, deputy commissioner of police, (traffic, suburbs), said, “Around two feet waterlogging was reported at Andheri subway. Hence, we closed the subway and diverted traffic in the area.”
Flooding was also reported in parts of Bhulabhai Desai Road, Cuffe Parade, Marine Lines, King’s Circle and Byculla.
New waterlogging spots were reported in Goregaon, Andheri, Santacruz and Churchgate.
Prior to the onset of the monsoon, BMC had said it had completed 95% of the desilting and cleaning of the city’s drains.
In February, the civic body said drains at the low-lying Hindmata junction had been augmented so that they could handle 50mm rain per hour.
Hindmata junction sees flooding whenever there is more than 25mm rain and it reported waterlogging on Friday.
“We have definitely improved the flooding issue at Hindmata junction, considering earlier, water was taking a long time to drain,” said Darade.
“If there had been no high tide, despite heavy rainfall, there would have been no flooding.’’
He said the new waterlogging spots were due to the high tide coinciding with heavy rain.
Activist Godfrey Pimenta said, “We totally disagree with the 95% figure quoted by BMC. For instance, no cleaning and desilting of nullahs in Sahar Airport, Marol, Kurla, Worli Koliwada etc has been done. In case of heavy monsoon, the above area will face unprecedented flooding and cause untold loss and damage.”
High tide (4.57m) is expected today at 11.38am and on Sunday, a 4.63m high tide is expected at 12.23am. IMD has issued a red alert (very heavy rainfall) for today and a yellow alert (heavy rainfall) for Sunday.
(With inputs from Suraj Ojha)