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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Rain and travel woes submerge Mumbaiites

Commuters and residents in Mumbai had to wade through waist-deep water and public transport routes had to be diverted, which added to the traffic chaos. The water did not recede from railway tracks for more than four hours, forcing the suburban trains to be shut.

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2019 04:00 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Water logging due to heavy rain on Western express highway Santacruz east Agri pada in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday.
Water logging due to heavy rain on Western express highway Santacruz east Agri pada in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
         

Waterlogged streets, traffic jams, shut railways – the overnight rain wreaked havoc across the city, bringing it to a grinding halt on Wednesday.

The added trouble was the water levels not receding, in some spots for as long as six-seven hours. Consequently, commuters and residents had to wade through waist-deep water and public transport routes had to be diverted, which added to the traffic chaos. The water did not recede from railway tracks for more than four hours, forcing the suburban trains to be shut.

Civic officials said waterlogging was reported at 30 locations, including Gandhi Market at King’s Circle, Hindmata at Dadar, Sion road number 24, Pratiksha Nagar, Antop Hill, Jagannath Bhatankar Marg, Kidwai Marg, Fitwala lane, Postal colony and Shell colony Chembur, Deonar Colony, Tilak Nagar, and Sheetal Cinema Kurla, Milan Subway at Andheri, Pinky Cinema, National college at Bandra west, Sainath subway at Malad, Dahisar Subway, Maratha Colony, and Naik Nagar. Areas such as Kurla, Sion, King’s circle and Hindmata were submerged in up to 3-ft deep water.

The civic body also deployed teams of engineers to several waterlogged areas to find localised reasons and solutions for the high water receding time. However, in most areas the problem remained.

In parts of Hindmata, Gandhi market, and King’s circle and Kurla, where waterlogging was severe, BEST buses were seen half submerged, and autorickshaws and small vehicles were completely submerged in water. Many commuters were seen struggling their way through water reaching up to chest level. All shops were closed, and private cab services were unavailable.

While both BMC and experts tried to find reasons for the very high receding time, additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal, who is in charge of storm water drains, said, “The BMC is trying to find why water has not receded at some places for several hours. Our teams have gone to Kurla, Sion, Dadar TT, and Hindmata.”

Experts blamed haphazard construction for waterlogging as the natural flow of water is disturbed in several areas.

Nandakumar Salvi, retired chief engineer of the storm water drains department, who also worked on the Chitale committee, said, “Usually, a very small difference in height in high tide and low tide is the reason for waterlogging, as the sea cannot take anymore water thrown out from the city. We call this neap tide. However, as this was not the case on Wednesday, the reasons ought to be more local.”

As an effect of the rains, the Mithi river swelled up to dangerous levels, and crossed it’s red mark of 3.5m height of water (dangerous) at 1.15pm on Wednesday.

Several internal roads facing the Mithi River in BKC were waterlogged.

Twenty-four pumps at the six pumping stations that pump water out of the city were functional on Wednesday. The compound wall of the Mayor’s old bungalow at Shivaji Park collapsed after a tree fell on it at about 2pm. No injuries were reported in the incident.