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Heavy showers on Tuesday evening brought troubles to commuters in the city. While trains were delayed on the suburban network of both the Central (CR) and Western Railway (WR) during the evening peak hours, poor visibility affected flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). With many places in the city water-logged, road transport also took a hit.
In light of the weather prediction for Wednesday, schools and colleges will remain shut “for the safety of students”, Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced Tuesday evening. The loss will be compensated by cutting Diwali holidays short by a day, Tawde said. Suburban services on the Western harbour line were affected after a tree fell on the over-head equipment (OHE) between Andheri and Vile Parle stations, and commuters hopeful of escaping the worst of the rain ended up facing inconvenience.
“Services were affected for a brief period by a tree fall at 2.30 pm, after branches of a tree fell on the down harbour line on the WR. The OHE had to be switched off between Santacruz and Wadala. The branches were removed at 3.15 pm and the down line was cleared,” a WR official said. Officials from both the WR and the CR said while trains ran late, no service was cancelled. However, commuters complained of delays, specially as the heavy rain meant few other modes of transport were available.
“I was heading home to Dombivli from my office at Nariman point. There were hardly any taxis on the road, and when I reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), trains were at least 15 minutes late. In spite of leaving early from work, I reached home late,” Amit Srivastava, a commuter, said. However, some were thankful for the railways. “Taxis and autorickshaws refuse to ply north during heavy showers. The trains were not as late as they are expected to be during rain. There was a delay of 15 minutes, which is not so bad,” Sharda Yadav, who was planning to travel to Panvel from Lower Parel, said.
A technical snag was reported at 7.46 pm near Santacruz station on the WR owing to track failure after water logging. Services on the WR continued to run 15 minutes late till the later hours of the day. Operations at the CSIA were affected because of the low visibility. Representatives of airlines said that there was a delay of flights in the morning hours due to congestion at the airport. “Flights were delayed for at least 25-30 minutes due to low visibility in the evening. Take-off and landing of flights had to be suspended. Due to the gap, each flight saw a delay of about 30-45 minutes,” a senior ATC official said. He denied flooding at the runway due to rain.
Passengers complained of long waiting hours at the airport. “We had to wait for a good two hours because of the traffic congestion on the road to reach the airport. The flight too was delayed by at least 45 minutes. No announcement was made for the longest time about the flight delay,” Amrish Khurana, who was flying to New Delhi on Tuesday evening, said. Traffic was affected due to waterlogging on stretches such as Veera Desai road in Andheri, SV road in Bandra and LBS marg in Ghatkopar. Commuters complained of traffic snarls on the Western Express Highway (WEH), Andheri- Kurla road and around King’s Circle. “From Veera Desai to Amboli in Andheri West, there is waist-deep water. Vehicles are not able to move,” said Somya Bansal, who lives in Versova.