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Heavy rains lash Mumbai, schools, colleges to remain closed today

Schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been instructed to remain closed, the Maharashtra government announced Tuesday night; flight operations have been temporarily suspended till Wednesday morning.

mumbai Updated: Sep 20, 2017 00:52 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
People walk through water logged street during heavy rain at Sion in Mumbai on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO)

Three weeks after a deluge, rains returned to haunt Mumbai with the maximum city receiving between 40mm and 130mm of rainfall on Tuesday.

Parts of Colaba, Churchgate, CST, Dadar, Worli, Bandra, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Andheri, and Borivli received very heavy rainfall from Tuesday afternoon onwards. And there will be no respite soon with the Met office predicting similar weather for the next two days.

Schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have been instructed to remain closed on Wednesday in the backdrop of heavy rains, the Maharashtra government announced Tuesday night.

“Schools are instructed to remain close tomorrow for safety due to mixed predictions; This holiday will be compensated in Diwali #MumbaiRains,” tweeted Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde.

“The precautionary holiday will be applicable for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. #MumbaiRains,” Tawde said in another tweet.

Flight operations have been temporarily suspended till 5am on Wednesday, news agency PTI quoted sources.

After drawing flak for the inadequate response on August 29 when torrential rain flooded the city, the civic body began taking precautions as soon as it started to pour in the afternoon. More than 130 pumps in areas prone to chronic flooding were active throughout Tuesday evening. The city has 313 such pumps.

According to the disaster management department, there was no water logging in the city and civic officials were patrolling streets cleaning drain openings of street sides. But despite that, areas of Milan Subway, Andheri, Malad, Dahisar, and Mankhurd subway and parts of Bandra and BKC were waterlogged and saw temporary traffic jams. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also put the City Disaster Response Force (CDRF) on standby. The newly formed CDRF in Mumbai has been set up on the lines of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta directed all senior civic officials not to leave their offices until further orders, and to continuously monitor the situation in the city. About 60 BMC officials were seen on the streets, cleaning clogged mouths of drains and directing traffic away from water logged areas.

An official of the disaster management department said, “The municipal commissioner asked all ward officials to locally monitor the situation, and give hourly feedback to deputy municipal commissioners. Beside this, there are about 15 personnel monitoring the city’s situation from the disaster management room in BMC headquarters. There are cameras here.”

The BMC intimated also the NDRF, Fire Brigade, and Navy to be on standby for the next two days.

Mumbaikars left offices early and took to social media to tweet about traffic jams at Colaba, Sion highway, Dadar Terminus and Bandra and water logging near Santacruz, Bandra, BKC, and Andheri.

Read more: Mumbai civic body didn’t learn from mistakes, but you can, keep these things in office to be rain-ready

While the Colaba weather observatory recorded 108.2mm of rainfall, the Santacruz observatory recorded 34mm of rainfall on Tuesday. Mumbai received an average of 58.74mm of rainfall, whereas the eastern suburbs received 62.45mm, and western suburbs received 92.21mm.

On August 29, Mumbai received over 300 mm of rainfall within a few hours, which led to a deluge, crippling the transport system and bringing the city to a standstill.

Mahesh Narvekar, who heads the civic Disaster Management department said, “We will not let a similar situation arise again, and hence had activated our standard operating procedure at the slightest hint of rainfall.”

There were reports of slow movement of vehicles on the city’s streets, while suburban trains were running late.

PRO of Central Railway A K Jain said, “(Suburban) trains are running a bit late, but there has been no cancellation till now.”

A tree branch fell between Andheri and Vile Parle stations on the Harbour corridor in the afternoon, briefly halting the traffic, he added.

According to the Indian Meteorological department (IMD), the city is likely to receive heavy rainfall over the next two days due to an active weather system along the western coast.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 22:11 IST