Normal life was thrown out of gear as persistent rains battered the city and adjoining areas since Tuesday morning, crippling the Western Railway’s local train services and causing multiple flight diversions. Five people have been injured, two of them seriously, after a road overbridge in Mumbai’s suburban Andheri area collapsed. The meteorological department has forecast heavy rains in Mumbai and adjoining areas in the next 24 hours.
Here are the top developments on Mumbai rains:
*The Gokhale road overbridge, built in 1971, collapsed near the eastern side of the railway station this morning due to heavy rains. It halted the local train services and affected some long-distance trains that caused huge inconvenience to the commuters, said Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials.
*Mumbai’s famous tiffin carriers ‘Dabbawalas’ also expressed their inability to operate as the train services on the Western Line were stopped.
* Railways Minister Piyush Goyal visited the accident site in the afternoon and ordered an inquiry by the Commissioner of Rail Safety whose report would have to be submitted within 15 days. Expressing regret over the accident, he said it was “very unfortunate” and “most unexpected”. He said around 700 employees of the railways, helped by some experts from Delhi and Lucknow, were working on the restoration work and the train services will be resumed completely by tonight.
*The minister said the last safety audit of Andheri bridge was carried out in November last year and nothing wrong had been found in that. Goyal said that during the next six months, a joint safety audit will be conducted by the railways, the BMC and IIT at the 445 road overbridges, foot overbridges and bridges over the pipelines in Mumbai as part of efforts to improve safety for the commuters.
*Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Mumbai police commissioner to ensure smooth traffic movement and asked the BMC to increase its bus service for the convenience of commuters.
*A Mumbai airport spokesperson said no flight was canceled, but four flights were diverted to nearby airports. Besides, six flights had to do a go-around due to the bad weather, the spokesperson said. Private carriers Vistara, GoAir and Jet Airways said they will accommodate passengers who were late due to traffic congestion because of the road over-bridge collapse in suburban Andheri. Almost all departures from Mumbai airport were delayed by an average one hour, while two-thirds of flights arriving at the airport were behind schedule, according to a flight tracking website.
*The heavy downpour caused waterlogging in the low-lying areas of Hindmata, Sion, Parel TT, Nehru Nagar, Kurla, Bhandup, Wadala, Dharavi, Andheri and Mulund. Pumping machines were pressed into service at various places to flush out water, a spokesperson of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. A city double-decker bus crashed into an overhead railing near Kalina but no casualty was reported, he said.
*On a brighter side, the heavy rainfall filled up reservoirs that supply water to the Mumbai city, the BMC said.
* Considering the problems faced by students due to heavy downpour in the city, the Mumbai University has decided to re-conduct the examination for students who could not appear due to waterlogging.
With PTI inputs