Updated: June 10, 2021 6:24:34 am
MUMBAI WAS brought to a near standstill on the first day of this year’s monsoon season with heavy rain lashing most parts of the city Wednesday morning, leading to traffic snarls and severe waterlogging that left roads, subways, suburban rail tracks and entire neighbourhoods inundated.
With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) once again caught on the wrong foot, despite several assurances, officials decided to shut the key Andheri subway, which was among the first to get inundated, for four months across the entire season.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai recorded 222.2 mm rain in a span of 12 hours — 44 per cent of the monthly average rainfall in June (505 mm). It said the city will continue to receive extremely heavy rain spells — more than 200 mm in 24 hours — till June 13. The record for the highest 24-hour spell for the month is 399 mm on June 9, 1991.
On Wednesday, the city witnessed an intense spell of rain — between 50-100 mm — from 9 am to 10 am. The morning downpour coincided with tidal waves reaching up to 4.16 m at 11.43 am, which stalled the draining of rainwater through stormwater outfalls.
Several low-lying spots, such as King’s Circle, Hindmata, Gandhi Market in Matunga, Dadar TT, Sion, Kurla West, Andheri, Bandra, Khar, Dharavi, Mankhurd, Chembur and Govandi, experienced severe flooding.
By afternoon, IMD had increased the “severe” weather warning to “red”, requiring the highest level of intervention by civic and disaster management authorities. By evening, the intensity of rain had subsided in the city and suburbs.
The Andheri, Malad and Khar subways, which take traffic through underpasses below the railway lines, were completely waterlogged and had to be closed for traffic. Three arterial roads — SV Road along with the western suburbs, Santacruz-Chembur Link Road near Tilak Nagar station and eastern expressway — were inundated at multiple locations.
Hospitals in South Mumbai were also affected with water entering Nair hospital at Mumbai Central and JJ hospital at Byculla.
Speaking to reporters, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said, “Between 9 am and 10 am, in areas like Sion and Chunabhatti, 60 mm of rain was recorded. Due to this, rainwater came onto the train tracks.”
On the Andheri subway, he said: “Waterlogging problems can only be solved after the construction of the Mogra pumping station… (it) will take two years. For the next four months, the subway will be shut.”
According to the BMC, it received six complaints of wall collapse, 14 of short-circuits and 32 of trees and branches falling. Ahead of the monsoon, BMC had installed dewatering pumps at 445 locations. Out of the total, 189 pumps were used between 7 am and 3 pm on Wednesday. The six storm-water pumping stations were continuously discharging flood water into the sea for seven-eight hours, said officials.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.