Torrential rain battered Mumbai on Monday evening during peak hours. Water-logging was reported at several places, train services were delayed, traffic jams were a common sight and many trees collapsed because of the heavy rain in the city after continuous spells of shower last week. The IMD has issued a warning of heavy rains for the next two days.
Arterial roads and eastern and western express highways were jammed with bumper-to bumper traffic. Air traffic was affected too. Central railway services were delayed by 30-45 minutes, while western railway services were late by 30 minutes, due to water-logging and track failure at Santa Cruz.
Railway commuters were upset with authorities over the pre-monsoon preparations.
“There was no CST-bound train for an hour at Thane. Our slow train was moving at a snail’s pace,” said Rama Shrivastava.
South Mumbai resident Anumeha Siani, who works in Vikhroli, said, “I left office at 7pm, an hour early, because of the heavy rains. But I didn’t get any autorickshaw for station. So I had to walk for half an hour. And then, at the station, I had to wait for a CST train for another half an hour. I got a slow train at 8pm which took more than an hour to reach Kurla.”
Fliers weren’t any better off either as flights got delayed. Low visibility was reported at Mumbai airport with at least three flights asked to go around.
Water-logging was reported at various spots in the city, including Vile Parle, Santa Cruz, Lower Parel, Dadar, Matunga, Sion, Andheri, Sakinaka and Chembur. There was major water-logging at Milan subway, Malad subway and Andheri subway. What added to people’s woes was the strike of autorickshaw drivers in the western suburbs. They had come out on the roads protesting against the harassment from police and regional transport officers.
“I started from Mahalaxmi at 6pm, and at 7.30pm I was still stuck at Dadar outside Plaza cinema,” said Rajshri Gupta on her way to Chembur.
Several stalled vehicles on city roads added to traffic woes. A BEST bus broke down at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road due to which traffic moving towards Sakinaka junction was slow. And potholes made it worse.
“Almost every road in the city has potholes. Because of the heavy rains since morning, most of them are filled with water, and hence, one has to drive carefully to make sure that the vehicle does not get stuck,” said Nilesh Oza, a Ghatkopar resident.
BEST PRO Manoj Varade denied any delays in bus services.
However, BEST officials contradicted this. A traffic official posted at Andheri (West) bus station on Monday evening said, “Buses are late by 10-15 minutes on any given working day. Today, due to traffic choking some arterial roads because of heavy rains, the buses are taking a little longer.”
The Colaba and Santa Cruz weather stations recorded 43mm and 71.90mm rainfall respectively. Thane recorded about 150mm. “There has been a good cloud cover over the Konkan-Goa on the coast. The trough is active in the West coast and it has resulted in heavy rainfall in the city and suburbs apart from South Central Maharashtra and Marathwada,” said VK Rajeev, IMD director.