Mumbai getting back to its feet as rains subside

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Aug 2017 08:13:56


MUMBAI,

Aug 30,

(PTI),

AS Mumbaikars began picking up the pieces of their lives after Tuesday’s deluge that sank the city and its satellite towns in a sea of misery, at least 10 people were reported dead due to drowning and wall collapse, officials said on Wednesday.After torrential rain swamped large parts of the Maximum City, paralyising road, rail and air services, life began returning to normal slowly with people stranded in offices, on railway platforms and stationary trains headed homewards.

Mumbai’s famed suburban railway system, which caters to over 60 lakh people a day, began crawling back to life this morning but operations were not fully restored yet. On the Central Railway’s Harbour and Main lines, local services were running very slow and getting held up at stations as tracks remain submerged at various points. “Train services are running at least 10-15 minutes late on the Central suburban network. Even after starting late, they halt periodically between stations, thereby further increasing travel time,” Hussain Fatakdawala, a city based businessman, who travelled from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to suburban Thane this evening, said.

Smita Gaikar, a corporate employee working at a firm in suburban Andheri, said she had to spend last night in office and resume work this morning without getting any rest.
“Since there was no mode of transport available last night, we all had to spend the night in office. To add to our woes, the Government did not announce an official holiday on Wednesday. Our company asked us to work today as well and leave for home only after completing our shift,” Gaikar said.
An official of the Western Railway said 19 long distance trains have been terminated. The Santacruz observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had registered 331.4 mm rainfall on Tuesday, the heaviest since the July 26, 2005 record of 944 mm, which had left a massive trail of death and destruction, with more than 500 people having lost their lives.Educational establishments and government offices remained closed following a directive by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, facilitating restoration of vehicular traffic. However, air services continued to be affected, with several flights cancelled or delayed, mainly due to difficulties faced by airlines’ crew and passengers in reaching the airport.

Private carrier Jet Airways cancelled 19 flights out of the city, including some on international routes. Its other flights were delayed by up to two hours. Though Air India did not cancel any flight, its operations were delayed by around half-an-hour on an average. The airlines said though the situation was under control with improved visibility, it was witnessing operational delays due to non-availability of crew who got stuck in traffic as many parts of the city were still waterlogged. No substantial rainfall has been reported from any part of the city or outskirts, and the morning was bright and skies looked less cloudy.However, the respite may prove transient, with the weatherman forecasting “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in parts of Maharashtra over the next 24 hours.

The State’s Disaster Management Department has asked people to exercise caution during the period. “There is a possibility of North Konkan and North Central Maharashtra receiving very heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours. Also, Mumbai and Thane district may receive heavy rainfall over the same period,” it said in a press release.“Keeping the forecast by the India Meteorological Department in mind, people are advised to exercise caution,” it said.

As people struggled to get back on their feet following Tuesday’s downpour, the Navy stepped in to provide succour to people stranded far away from their homes by opening community kitchens and food counters at various locations in the megapolis. However, Mumbai’s famed ‘dabbawalas’, known for the clockwork precision with which they deliver over two lakh tiffins to office goers in the city, cancelled their operations because of the disruption of suburban rail services. Mumbai’s civic body’s transport wing BEST also ran additional services to help people reach their homes.

Northern Railways cancels 16 trains for Maharashtra

NEW DELHI,

Aug 30,

(IANS),

IN VIEW of the heavy rains in Maharashtra, Northern Railways on Wednesday cancelled 16 trains to and from the state. “Due to operational reasons and heavy rains in Maharashtra, 16 trains will remain cancelled on Wednesday,” a Northern Railway official said.

Cancelled trains include Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mumbai Central August Kranti Rajdhani Express, Mumbai Central-Firozpur Janta Express, Firozpur-Mumbai Central Janta Express, Amritsar-Saharsa Jansadharan Express, Amritsar-Visakhapatnam Hirakund Express.

Besides, Jammu Tawi-Tata Nagar Muri Express, Firozpur-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Intercity Express, Firozpur-Sri Ganganagar Intercity Express, Firozpur-Ludhiana Sutlej Express, Nanded-Amritsar Express, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-Kamakhya Express, Chandigarh-Ajmer Garibrath Express, Chandigarh-Jaipur Intercity Express, Sirsa-Tilak Bridge-Sirsa Express, Hisar-Jind Passenger, Bandra Terminus-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express have also been cancelled.The Northern Railways has also cancelled one train on August 31 and on September 1.

Bapat appeals stuck people to use his official bungalow

MUMBAI,

Aug 30,

(PTI)

MAHARASHTRA Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat has appealed to people stranded in south Mumbai for unavailability of transport following heavy rains, to take shelter in his official residence for time being. In his appeal made through Facebook, the BJP leader, who hails from Pune, said that people stranded in areas such as Fort, and at Mantralaya can rest or stay in his official residence ‘Dnyaneshwari’, located at Malabar Hill, till the situation shows improvement.

The heavy rains that pummelled the financial capital on Tuesday has severely affected the vehicular and local railway traffic, leaving thousands stranded in various suburbs.The rains resulted into suspension of traffic on the Central, Harbour and Western lines of suburban trains, used daily by lakhs of people staying out of the city for commuting.The vehicular traffic was seriously hit too due to flooded roads.Though the situation showed some improvement today, many roads and routes to suburbs are still closed.

 

Day after woes, civic body pats self for ‘good job’

MUMBAI,

Aug 30,

(PTI)

A DAY after heavy rains wreaked havoc in the country’s financial capital, the civic chief on Wednesday blamed extreme weather conditions for waterlogging on roads and railway tracks, saying the municipal machinery worked fine in the hour of crisis. The megalopolis received around 320 mm rain on Tuesday, the heaviest on a single day since the July 26, 2005 record of 944 mm, which paralysed the city within a few hours.

The torrential rain plunged the city into chaos as water swamped homes, and submerged roads and railway tracks, leaving thousands of people stranded at various places.
“The weather condition was extreme. The city witnessed excessive waterlogging. However, the civic machinery was in place and worked properly,” Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) Commissioner Ajoy Mehta told reporters.He said the city received 320 mm rainfall on Tuesday.

At 23 places, over 200 mm rainfall was received. The civic body’s plan to tackle the situation and rescue the people worked quite well, Mehta claimed.He said over 30,000 employees were pressed into service to handle the situation. “They removed excessive water (from roads and rail tracks) and provided shelters to the stranded people who could not travel home,” the civic chief said.Mehta said the MCGM operated a total of 229 pumps to flush out water, while 420 people stranded on 12 trains were rescued by the fire brigade from four locations in the city.

The BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) operated 3,146 buses and ferried 30 lakh passengers during the downpour, Mehta said.Talking about the work done by the civic staff in providing overnight shelter to the stranded passengers, he said, assistant commissioners of the respective wards provided 69 night shelters in the vicinity of railway stations where around 5,000 people spent the night.He said various agencies worked in coordination to tackle the yesterday’s situation.

“The police, NDRF, IMD, HAM Radio, Navy came forward and extended their help while the Coast Guard, Army, Air Force were kept on stand by,” Mehta said.He appealed to citizens to seek medical assistance in case they experienced symptoms like fever or vomiting.The civic chief said the MCGM had repaired 561 roads, cumulatvely stretching up to 138 km, ahead of the monsoon this year.

 

Renowned doctor goes missing

MUMBAI,

Aug 30,

(PTI),

RENOWNED gastroenterologist of the Bombay Hospital Dr Deepak Amrapurkar went missing near the Elphinstone Road station following heavy rains, the police said on Wednesday. Amarapurkar, 58, had left for home on Tuesday evening by his car but due to water logging on the road he asked his driver to drop him near the Elphinstone Road station and started walking towards his residence, a senior police official said. The doctor went missing while he was walking towards his residence when it was pouring heavily, the official added.

“According to some eye-witnesses Amrapurkar fell in a manhole and police recovered his umbrella from near it,” said Sunil Deshmukh, Assistant ommissioner of Police, Dadar Division. The said manhole has been cordoned off and search operation with the help of fire brigade and BMC personnel is on, he said and added a missing complaint has been lodged.