Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) Heavy rains continued to batter Mumbai and most parts of Maharashtra for the third consecutive day Sunday, crippling normal life.
In view of very heavy to extremely heavy rains forecast over the city in the next two days, Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte has advised Mumbaikars to venture outdoors only if absolutely necessary.
Local Cautionery Signal No. III has been hoisted at all ports in north coastal Maharashtra. Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the Arabian Sea, which will be very rough accompanied by up to 50 kmph strong gusts, the IMD-Pune said.
Coastal town Pen, famous for its Lord Ganesh idol industry Sunday notched a staggering 26 cm rainfall, and the downpour continues.
Uran, Dapoli and Mahabaleshwar hill station received 23 cm rains, Bhira 22 cm, Matheran 21 cm and Kolhapur 20 cm Sunday with no respite from the downpour.
With Mumbai battered by incessant rains since this morning, its lifelines, the railways and road traffic, were severely crippled.
The Central Railway and Harbour Line services were suspended for nearly four hours from 10.35 a.m. due to flooding on railway tracks, leading to cancellation of 340 scheduled services and other running up to 45 minutes late.
Several long-distance trains scheduled to leave Mumbai were delayed by three to six hours while incoming services were terminated mid-way, inconveniencing passengers.
Water entered railway stations at Elphinstone Road, Parel, Sion and Matunga, while the Western Railway services were running 20-30 minutes behind schedules.
Since Sunday morning, South Mumbai received 11.94 cms rains, eastern suburbs 9.90 cm and western suburbs 8.20 cm rains, leading to heavy waterlogging and flooding in many areas in the city.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Control Cell, 65 places areas in the city reported waterlogging or flooding, hitting normal life.
Flood waters entered ground floor homes and shops in Sion, Kurla, Chunabhatti, Dadar, Parel, Byculla, Mazagaon, Masjid Bunder and Worli.
Waterlogging was reported in road subways at Dahisar, Borivli, Malad, Andheri, Santacruz and Mulund with vehicles compelled to take longer detours.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast an increase in rainfall activity with very heavy to extremely heavy rains over Mumbai and surroundings accompanied by gusts of up to 50 kmph in the next two days.
Elsewhere in Maharashtra, several big and small rivers were overflowing or flooded following incessant rains across the state in the past two days.
At least 40 villages have been cut off in Pune district after a river in Maval flooded the entire region, though there are no reports of casualties.
Most parts of the state have received good rainfall in the early days of the 16-week long monsoon season this year which got underway since the past 10 days.
Not willing to let the bounty go waste, farmers across the state have furiously got down to the business of sowing seeds in farmlands in the past few days.
The heavy downpour has resulted in several small and medium dams and water reservoirs overflowing and the excess waters were released from such reservoirs in Pune, Jalna, Raigad, Akola and Ratnagiri.
The IMD has forecast more heavy to very heavy rains in the coastal Konkan region and other parts of the state over the 48 hours.