Heavy rains leave Pune gasping for a life jacket
After the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a ‘red alert’ for Pune district on Saturday and Sunday, incessant rainfall brought the city to its knees. Heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of dams surrounding the city -Khadakwasla, Pavana and Mulshi led to release of water into the Mula, Mutha and Pavana rivers causing a flood-like situation in some areas of city on Sunday.
Heavy rains also wreaked havoc on the city roads with waterlogging in many areas including, Chikhali, Wakad, Sangvi, Aundh, Dattawadi, Erandwane, Mangalwar peth, Kasba peth and Somwar peth. Most areas in the city were inundated as during the last 36 hours, the city received 58.8mm of rainfall.
Naval Kishore Ram, district collector, said, “Due to incessant rains in the catchment areas of the dams, there was waterlogging in some areas and as a result of which we have evacuated people from flooded areas like Dattawadi, Aundh and Sangvi to nearby schools and temples.”
At least 4,000 people were evacuated and shifted to shelter houses after more than 45,000 cusecs (cubic foot per second) of water from the Khadakwasla dam, 32,000 cusecs of water from the Mulshi dam and 18,000 cusecs of water from the Pavana dam was released on Sunday morning, which led to low-lying areas around the Mula, Mutha and Pavana rivers were flooded, an official at the district collectorate said.
With more water being released from the Khadakwasla dam, water gushed into several low-lying areas in Balewadi, Baner, Aundh, Yerwada, Sinhgad road and Bopodi.
Meanwhile, many areas in Pimpri-Chinchwad also experienced waterlogging and traffic congestion due to rains. The Moraya Gosavi temple was submerged underwater, while the slums at the bank of the river in Sanjay Gandhinagar were flooded. Also, residential societies in Moshi and Chikhali area witnessed waterlogging.
Heavy rains continued to lash the city and district, specifically Maval, Mulshi and adjoining areas on Sunday. According to district administration, the rivers were flowing above the safe limit and water reached up to the crematorium in Baner, while in Vishrantwadi water entered 40 houses.
According to Pune district collectorate, evacuated people were shifted to shelter houses in civic body-run schools and temples in that particular area. Many social as well as political organisations have come forward to help the affected people. Most of the organisations have taken responsibility to provide food and clothes to these shelter houses.
Seven members of a family stranded in a flooded house in Kamshet area were rescued by a team of the NDRF, an official from the agency said.
According to the fire brigade department, nine tree falling incidents were reported, six cases of waterlogging in houses were filed and two wall collapse incidents were recorded by 5:30pm on Sunday.
Prashant Ranpise, chief fire officer, fire brigade department, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, “Considering heavy water discharge from all dams, we have kept our team ready to handle the situation. Around six families were rescued from Aundh, Bhau Patil road, Baner and Bhimnagar area of the city, as water entered their houses. Tree falling incidents were not serious, as it was mostly branches which had fallen.”
According to the State Electricity Board, areas like Aundh, Bopodi, Bavdhan, Baner, Balewadi, Madhubhan Colony, old Sangvi, Wakad Gavthan, Kaspate Wasti, Pavananagar, Pimple Nilakh, Chinchwad, Kasarwadi, Kalewadi and Shivtirthnagar faced power outage for more than four hours in the morning hours.
Bharat Pawar, deputy chief engineer of the board, said, “The district administration has informed us that the city is likely to get heavy to very heavy rainfall during the next 48 hours. According to this information, we have asked our staff to be ready to deal with the situation.” Pawar also appealed to the residents to not touch any open wire or electric pillar during rains as a precautionary measure.
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall for the city and the district in the next 48 hours. Hence, the district administration issued an advisory asking people to remain alert and schools and colleges have been asked to be closed on Monday.
Three teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue and relief work, and two more teams will be called from Mumbai to evacuate people on a war footing, considering heavy downpour and continuos discharge from dams.
Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD, Pune, said, “As a result of the presence of a trough line from south Gujarat to North Bay of Bengal, presence of offshore trough and strong westerlies, central Maharashtra, specifically Pune and adjoining areas, are likely to get heavy rainfall in the nest 48 hours.”
Name of the City -Rainfall in mm
Name - Release of water -Rainfall in Catchment
Khadakwasla - 41,624 cusecs - 20mm
Panshet - 12,936 cusecs - 67mm
Varasgaon- 12,434 cusecs - 70mm
Temghar -350 cusecs- 50mm
Mahabaleshwar recorded the highest rainfall in the last four days in the state with 522mm. As a result of heavy downpour at the hill station, roads along the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani route experienced waterlogging.
August 1 -138mm
August 2 -112mm
August 3- 136mm
August 4 -136mm
Pune-Mumbai Sinhgad Express takes more than 30 hours to reach Pune
Passengers who boarded the Sinhgad express from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) at 5:50 pm on Saturday evening were left stranded for more than 24 hours as the train had not reached Pune till late evening on Sunday, owing to heavy rains and boulders falling in the rail section.
Central Railway Pune division (CRPD) officials requesting anonymity, said, “The train departed from CSTM with a slight delay on Saturday evening. However, because there was boulder falling incident in the Monkey hill region and heavy rains in the ghat (hilly) section, it was decided to divert the train via Igatpuri, Manmad and Daund.”
However, due to heavy rainfall and boulder falling in the Kasara ghat section, the train had to be halted for more than 21 hours at the Kasara station, which then, reached Igatpuri station at 4:30 pm on Sunday and was then operated to Pune via Manmad and Daund, said officials.
The work for clearing the boulders from the track was done on a war footing to resume operations, said AK Singh, spokesperson, Central Railway.
According to CRPD officials, two buses were arranged for passengers at Kasara station. While some passengers chose to reach Pune via the bus provided by the officials, a few of them opted to be onboard and wait for the train to resume its operations, said officials.
The train had not reached Pune when this report was filed.
Meanwhile, daily trains from Pune to Mumbai like the Intercity and Indrayani express were cancelled on Monday.
At least three trains were cancelled, three were diverted and one was delayed on Sunday. Gwalior-Pune Express was diverted via Surat-Jalgaon-Manmad-Daund. Similarly, Pune-Indore Express which was scheduled to depart at 5:30pm on Sunday was rescheduled to 10pm and diverted via Daund-Manmad-Jalgaon-Surat. Also, Pune-Jaipur Express which was scheduled to depart at 3:30pm was later rescheduled to 10:20pm and was diverted via Daund-Manmad-Jalgaon-Surat.
Pune-Jodhpur Express on Sunday was also cancelled.
Hundreds of citizens rescued and shifted due to water logging in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad
Civic administration schools across the city turned hosts to residents who had to vacate their flooded homes on Sunday after incessant rains filled up dams and caused waterlogging in most areas.
Release of water from major dams around the city since the last few days, created a flood-like situation in many low-lying areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. A resident of Madhuban Housing society in old Sangvi, Janvhi Shinde said, “There was water everywhere in our society and we were not able to step out. Hence, we called up the fire brigade officials for help, who rescued most of us. The water level had crossed 3 feet in our area and is still rising.” Among those rescued from the society, include 15 foreigners and one pregnant woman.
There were also reports of waterlogging in Shitolenagar, old Sangvi, Mulanagar slum area, Jaymalanagar, Mamtanagar and Priyadarshaninagar. Hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes and shifted to civic administration schools and other safe places.
For Sunil Alhat, a resident of Shantinagar slum in Yerawada, it was difficult to leave the house as water had entered it. The entire family had to be shifted to a Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) school in Vishrantwadi. There was waterlogging in 40 houses in Shantinagar slums and at least 100 residents were shifted to PMC schools in Kalas and Vishrantwadi. “Water started entering our homes as it has been raining continuously since the last few days. We thought the rains would stop, but on Sunday when the water increased to a dangerous level, we decided to vacate our homes,” said Alhat.
Two persons were trapped in the crematorium at Mathobanagar near Wakad and were rescued by the fire brigade team on Sunday morning. Similarly, patients from the Surya Hospital in Wakad were rescued and shifted to Surya Hospital Pune, as water had flooded the basement of the hospital.
Residents of Baner and Balewadi also suffered due to waterlogging. Roads were choked in Vidhate Wasit and Dattanagar in Baner and the road going towards Pimple Nilakh was closed for vehicular traffic. All the lanes in Prathamesh Park in Baner were flooded and residents were frightened to come out of their houses. “There is water all over in our building parking area and we are not able to step out of our society. All the lanes in our area are filled with water and some of the two-wheelers are floating due to the floods,” said Mithesh Surana, a resident of Baner.
Local corporator from Baner, Amol Balwadkar and other residents, have come forward to help those affected due to waterlogging. “We are trying to rescue people who are stuck in their homes due to high water levels and shifting them to Baburao Genuji Balwadkar PMC school in Balewadi. All the necessary facilities like food, shelter and water will be provided to the residents till things get normalised,” said Balwadkar.
Traffic affected in Pune
Heavy downpour in the city on Sunday threw traffic out of gear on all main roads in the city which were inundated and waterlogging being reported from various areas.
Traffic snarls were reported in Vishrantwadi, NIBM-Kondhwa road, Katraj-Kondhwa road, Hadapsar junction, Pune Cantonment, Yerawada and Pune railway station areas.
Even though less number of people stepped out of their homes on Sunday, however, the number of four-wheelers on the roads was significant with many rushing to witness the scenes of overflowing rivers at important bridges in the city leading to traffic chaos.
Similarly, traffic moved at slow pace on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, however, no untoward incident was reported. The expressway control room said that no untoward incident was reported despite heavy rains. Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Pankaj Deshmukh has appealed to residents to utilise public transport instead of private cars and two-wheelers on Monday to avoid traffic jams.