Monsoon chaos returns to Mumbai, disrupts normal life

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 12:10 hrs

Mumbai: Monsoon chaos returned to haunt Mumbaikars once again as heavy rainfall inundated several areas and affected road, rail and air traffic on Wednesday. Nine people were also killed in rain-related incidents, officials said.

Heavy rains in the first two days of the monsoon led to water-logging and flooding in several parts of the city and its adjoining areas, striking hollow the claims of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that it was fully prepared for the monsoon.

As rain water inundated the tracks, local trains, the lifeline of Mumbai, plied 10 to 30 minutes behind schedule, officials said.

Rains claim 8 lives in Mumbai, cripples traffic

'Local train services on the western line were halted for 45 minutes after a tree fell on the tracks between Dadar and Matunga stations. They have, however, been restored,' a spokesperson said.

Local trains on the central line continue to run late by 30 minutes.

'Train arrivals are being switched from one platform to another and there is a fear of stampede,' said A. Bhavsar, a commuter.

Air traffic was also hit, with most flights delayed by 45 minutes to one hour.

'Heavy rains, strong winds of between 15-20 knots and fluctuating visibility have impacted operations,' an airport official said.

Three flights -- Spice Jet's SG 131 (Delhi-Mumbai), Indian Airlines IC 971 (Chennai- Mumbai) and Go Air's G8 229 (Delhi-Mumbai) -- were diverted to Ahmedabad in Gujarat by the Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Heavy rains delay flights in Mumbai

'Cross runway (No.1432) is not being used by the ATC due to strong winds. The main runway (0927) is operational,' another official said.

With the subway in Bhayander township of Thane district being shut down due to severe water-logging, residents of the area complained of gross negligence by authorities of Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation.

A resident of Ramdev Nagar in Mira Road (E), Christopher Vaz, said there was nearly two feet water on the road. 'Water has started entering our homes. Desperate calls for help to the civic body are meeting deaf ears,' he said.

On Wednesday, eight people were crushed to death while sleeping when a wall collapsed in Dyaneshwar Nagar area in Thane.

A man identified as Ratilal Gada was crushed to death in the eastern suburb of Mulund when a portion of an under-construction building caved in on him.

Another building crashed in Andheri on Wednesday, but no casualties or injuries have been reported so far.

Images: Heavy rains lash Mumbai

According to an official of the India Meteorological Department, Colaba in south Mumbai received 78 mm of rainfall and Santacruz about 95 mm, flooding scores of streets.

Traffic was diverted at Parel and Dadar in south-central Mumbai and Khar, Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandivli and Borivli in the western suburbs of the city.