Hall to local trains: Rain-stranded Mumbaikars find their night shelter
With several spots in Mumbai flooded and public transport coming to a halt late on Monday, many were forced to spend the night outside.
Afeef Asre, 26, who owns a furniture manufacturing business at Mumbra in Thane, was one of them.
On Monday, he had gone to Goregaon to deliver furniture. By the time he finished setting up the furniture at his client’s stall, the exhibition hall started flooding. “The water level in the hall reached up to a feet. There was waist-deep water outside. The security guards didn’t allow any of us to venture outside,” said Asre. He had no option but to spend the night in the hall along with many others. “There was no place to lie down. We were all crammed on the desks set up in the stalls,” he said.
After water started receding in the morning, Asre took a bus to Kanjurmarg. But, he couldn’t find a public transport to Mumbra. He then took a bus to Airoli, from where he got an autorickshaw to Kalwa. It took him three hours to reach home.
Afaque Khan, a 20-year-old student from Kalyan, and his uncle had to spend the night in a local train. He was in Kurla to attend a farewell function of his uncle, who retired from the railways. They boarded the train at Kurla, which stopped before reaching Vidyavihar, the next station. The service didn’t resume for two hours. It was 4.30am, when the train reached Kalyan. “Many passengers decided to walk, but my uncle decided to stay put,” he said.
Several people said the continuous rain reminded them of July 26 deluge. Several residents of Malad and Ghatkopar were forced out of their houses on Monday night after water level in their ground floor flats touched four feet.
Rameshchandra Badani, a senior citizen from Ghatkopar (West), kept calling the disaster management team but officials reached the area at 8am on Tuesday morning. Badani said they have been facing waterlogging for more than 40 years and the situation worsened 10 years ago after the road along their lane at Sainath Nagar was fixed. “Water from Asalpha flows to our lane and the storm water drain overflows. We have been complaining about this problem for years now. On July 26, 2005, water in our area was around four feet; yesterday it was five feet high,” said Badani.