Mumbai: The India Meteorological Department has warned that heavy to very heavy rains will hit Mumbai and coastal Konkan over the next 72 hours.
All agencies concerned with disaster management, relief and rescue operations have been put in a state of high alert and people have been warned against venturing outdoors unless absolutely essential.
IMD Mumbai director V.K. Rajeev said that entire Maharashtra is expected to get heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 12-72 hours.
"Heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur at many places in Konkan, central Maharashtra and Marathwada. Similarly, Mumbai will experience heavy to very heavy rains in the next 72 hours," Rajeev said.
He explained that heavy rains implied 7-14 cm and very heavy rains meant 14-25 cm within a 24-hour rain cycle.
Incessant rains have lashed Mumbai, Konkan, western Maharashtra and Vidarbha since early Tuesday.
Several parts of Mumbai have been waterlogged and flooded since Tuesday morning, severely restricting traffic movement and delaying local trains on Central Railway and Western Railway by 20-30 minutes.
Roads in south-central Mumbai areas of Dadar, Wadala, Sion, Parel, Byculla, Govandi, Kurla, Malad, Jogeshwari, Santacruz, Dahisar, Bhandup and other suburbs were flooded at many places and traffic had to be diverted to alternative routes.
According to BMC disaster management cell, at 1pm, the city received 4.17 cm rain, eastern suburbs 4.32 cm and western suburbs 3.06 cm.
Many private offices in the affected areas allowed their employees to leave early in view of the constant downpour and disruption in road and rail services.
The situation was identical in adjoining Thane and Raigad districts with rains since Monday night severely disrupting road and rail communication with Mumbai.
Meanwhile, IMD officials have asked people to ignore any SMS warning of heavy floods in Mumbai, saying these are being circulated by rumour-mongers.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists on Tuesday allegedly held BMC officials and engineers' captive at their office, warning that they would not be allowed to go until a written assurance was given to address the city's potholes menace.
MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande claimed that he along with his party workers went to G North ward office of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Dadar of central Mumbai with a demand that potholes in his Dadar area be fixed at the earliest and he needs written assurance.
Admitting that he held some senior officials and engineers captive, Deshpande told PTI, "People from my area ask me why potholes are not fixed. I sought a written assurance from the civic body officials."
However, no police complaint has been lodged in this connection.
"I had been to the Dadar civic body office but nobody complained to us in this regard. Deshpande is discussing potholes menace with the civic body officials," Shivaji Park police station senior inspector Parshuram Kakad said.