Flights, rail and road traffic hit as rains lash Mumbai
Mumbai received intense rains on Monday disrupting flights, causing traffics jams on water-logged roads and delaying trains as the weather department said heavy showers at isolated areas is expected through the day.
A spokesperson for the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said operations of flights were temporarily suspended amid low visibility due to the heavy rains. Runway operations were suspended from 9.12am to 9.31am.
“There are flight delays due to the weather. While three flights were diverted, none of them has been cancelled,” the spokesperson said.
The British Airways’ BA135 flight was diverted to Hyderabad and SpiceJet’s SG 8701 to Ahmedabad.
“Safety of the passengers cannot be compromised. If the weather is not conducive to land, the operations will have to be kept on hold,” the spokesperson added.
According to flightradar24, the Swedish internet-based service that shows real-time commercial flight information, there was an average delay of 20 minutes in departures and arrivals of 5 minutes.
Officials of the Central Railway said there was water logging on tracks at various locations between Kanjurmarg to Matunga stations. The suburban services were operating at a slow speed on the stretch with a delay of 10-15 minutes. Trains of the Western railway were running normally.
The rain added to the chaos on road as several areas were water-logged leading to traffic jams.
Till 11am, traffic continued to move at a slow pace across the city on several roads causing flooding in low lying areas like Andheri, Sion, Jogeshwari, Ghatkopar, Dadar etc.
The Western Express Highway where a traffic jam was reported from Kandivali to Andheri in the morning continued till 12pm delaying commuters by at least by three hours.
Traffic police officers said 2,800 policemen have been deployed in the city to help commuters as the rain started on Monday.
“We have ordered the entire traffic police force to be on the roads in case of such a spell in the coming days,” Shahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said.
According to Umap, after flooding on many roads, only one lane was left fit for travel as slowing the pace of traffic.
Traffic was reportedly moving slowly at Matunga, Sion Gandhi Market, LBS, BKC, Andheri, Nayak Nagar, Everard Nagar, Kherwadi flyover, Khar subway, Jogeshwari JVLR, DN Nagar to Juhu, SNDT College to Bandra on SV Road, Hansmogara junction at Malad Chowky, Goregaon flyover and SCLR.
Commuter also faced traffic snarls on adjoining roads due to the closure of the Andheri subway.
Motorists claimed that a traffic jam was reported on Western Expressway towards Bandra Kalanagar and Vakola towards the Santacruz airport. Due to water logging on Eastern Expressway, the BKC to Mankhurd flyover also witnessed a traffic snarl.
After a major accident on the southbound lane of the Lalbaug flyover, the lane was closed for traffic. Traffic police said a truck was stuck on the railing of the flyover but no injuries were reported.
Officers said that the removal of the truck was in progress as the southbound traffic was diverted through Supari Baug in Parel.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intermittent showers in the city with heavy to very heavy rainfalls at isolated places. High tides are expected at 4:18pm, the weather department has said.
“The cloud band combined with strong westerly winds in the current active monsoon conditions led to heavy rain for almost two hours on Monday. It has currently eased,” KS Hosalikar, IMD’s deputy director general (western region), said.
“Intermittent rain with heavy showers at isolated areas is expected through the day on Monday and Tuesday,” Hosalikar added.
Over the past 24 hours from 8.30am Sunday to 8.30am Monday, the suburbs received 30.6mm rain and south Mumbai 54.2mm, both falling under the ‘moderate’ category.
Mumbai has recorded 53% of its July average rainfall till 8.30am on Monday with almost three weeks still to go.
(With inputs from Badri Das Chatterjee, Neha LM Tripathi and Kanchan Chaudhari)