City in a jam, commuter in a pickle

Mumbai :  The incessant downpour on Thursday made commuting an ordeal. Those who hit the road were caught in never-ending snarls and bumper-to-bumper slow moving traffic. On the main arteries, it took as long as an hour to negotiate a stretch which would normally take 20 minutes.

But day-time train commuters were better off as the services, though late by half-an-hour or so, were not disrupted. But commuters returning home late in the evening in the distant suburbs of Nallasopara and Dombivli had to literally wade home in ankle- and knee-deep water. They also complained of erratic power supply throughout the day.

To add to their woes, there very few autos and taxis on the road. In fact, getting to the station from house and vice-versa was a Herculean task.  “There were no auto rickshaws plying on the road. I had to walk for nearly 25 minutes to get to the station from my residence. This has been the case for the last three days: there are too many commuters chasing too few autos,” recounts Indrayini Iyer of Dombivali, Auto leader union Thampi Kurean denied that there were fewer autos on the roads; rather he blames it all on more and more people opting to take autos on a day there is a heavy downpour.

Another resident, Shaheen Khan, who took nearly 40 minutes to reach Kurla from Santa Cruz owing to the extremely slow moving traffic, said, “The traffic on CST road has worsened with the SCLR becoming functional. The condition worsens when there is a downpour. It took me 45 minutes to cross the CST road which generally does not take more than 10 minutes.”

The long distance trains were also hit and were running 30 minutes behind schedule. Chandrakant Lade, a constable with Government Railway Police posted at CST, said, “We catch the long distance train which comes from Gujarat and disembark at Borivlai. But today the long distance trains were delayed by 30 minutes, due to which we reached office very late.”

With the streets water logged, people on chain-driven bikes had a hard time. Pranav Rajnikant Mistry, who rides to his work place at Shivaji Park from Dockyard, said, “It is a struggle to get my bike out of Elphinstone Road, which gets flooded even when there is a little rain.”

On Thursday, the city received 38.2 mm of rainfall while the eastern and western suburbs received 53.66 mm and 39.16 mm rain, respectively. Also, another 45 trees collapsed in the city and the suburbs.

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