Mumbai: Heavy rains lashed Mumbai and adjoining areas on Wednesday, as the Southwest monsoon arrived two days ahead of schedule. The incessant rainfall throughout on Wednesday led to waterlogging at several areas, accompanied by heavy traffic snarls and the disruption of rain services on Day One itself.
Chronic waterlogging spots like Hindmata, Dadar TT and Gandhi Market– King’s Circle remained severely waterlogged during the day.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a red alert for Mumbai, and the neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, warning of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated spots during the day. For the next four days too, there is an orange alert for Mumbai, Palghar, and Thane.
IMD Mumbai Deputy Director-General Dr Jayanta Sarkar said:, “Monsoon has arrived in Mumbai today, normal arrival date is June 10 - June 11 every year so it has arrived before the average arrival date this year.”
An orange alert has been issued for several districts for the coming few days, as ‘heavy to very heavy rainfall’ will be ‘very likely’ in pockets of the Konkan region, including Mumbai. The Met Department said: “Heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places predicted in various districts on Konkan belt during orange alert days.”
The Santacruz and Colaba observatories recorded 59.6mm and 77.4 mm rain respectively, in the 24-hour period ending at 8.30am on Wednesday. Between 8.30am and 5.30pm, 220.6mm and 45.6 mm rainfall had been recorded at the two observatories respectively.
The cumulative rainfall for the first nine days of this month (since June 1) in Mumbai has reached 195.6mm, as recorded in Santacruz. This is more than 123.4mm and accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the monthly rainfall of 493.1mm for June. At Colaba, 137.8mm cumulative rainfall has been recorded during the same period.
Other locations in Konkan where heavy rain was reported include Matheran - 104mm, Dahanu - 40.8mm, Alibag - 37.6mm and Harnai - 21.8mm.
Indicating heavy showers were to follow throughout this week, private weather agency Skymet said: “It looks as if Mumbai is heading for a deluge and during the next 7 days, the sky is going to open up drenching most areas of the city and suburbs equitably. Heavy rains are expected for the next 48 hours and thereafter copious rains will lash the entire region between June 12 and June 15 covering Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai, Alibag, and Raigad. Heavy rains will strike most parts of Konkan during this period.
“Upcoming spells of heavy rains over and around Mumbai will paralyze routine life. This includes disruption in rail, road, and air traffic and also affecting communication and connectivity. Relief measures need to be in place to secure assets and lives.”
Waterlogging and disruption
Severe waterlogging was reported at 15 places including - Hindmata Junction, Sion Road Number 24, below Sion Bridge, Sardar Hotel, Kalachowki, Shanmukhananda Hall - Matunga, Dadar TT Circle and BPT Colony in the city, near Mankhurd Railway station and Gaurishankar Nagar, Kurla in the eastern suburbs and the Andheri, Khar, Malad and Milan subways in the western suburbs.
“Most of the rainfall occurred for 4 to 5 hours between 8am and 3pm on Wednesday. This coincided with the high tide at 11.45am, due to which many nullahs, rivers were unable to push out/ discharge water into the sea leading to waterlogging,” said P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects).
He added: “We had installed dewatering pumps in 445 locations across the city to help the water recede. Besides this, all six stormwater pumping station were operating continuously to discharge water into the sea for over 7 to 8 hours.”
The civic body installed 45 dewatering pumps in the morning between 7am and 8am. Later, with the increase in frequency and intensity of rains, the number of dewatering pumps was increased to 189, from 2pm-3pm, to allow water to recede quickly.
Besides this, there were a total of six house/ wall collapse incidents, 32 tree/ branches fall incidents and 14 incidents of short circuit reported across the city on Wednesday.
Vehicular movement on the Western Express Highway (WEH) was not stalled but slow-moving. On the interior roads in the western suburbs too, there was no traffic congestion but movement was hampered by low visibility, slow movement and breakdown of vehicles midway. Somnath Gharge, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic Western) said there was not much waterlogging on the WEH, but on the sides, and this did not largely affect the traffic movement. The roads below the bridges, however, were massively waterlogged, resulting in the closure of Vakola under the bridge near Hans Bhugra.
“The number of vehicles on the road today was less than that on Tuesday, but the rain has played a major factor in slowing down the movement. The closure of four subways -- Milan, Khar, Andheri and Malad -- has badly hit the east-west connectivity, due to which motorists have been compelled to take a longer route to reach their destination, increasing travel time,” added DCP Gharge.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Express Highway was chock-a-block between Sion and Vikhroli, as a result of waterlogging near Suman Nagar in RCF, causing a standstill in traffic at noon. “Even if the traffic was hit between these two points, Suman Nagar was the trigger. We had deployed one pumping machine in the noon to clear the water, but since it was raining, the machine was not enough. Another machine was brought in, which cleared the water by 2 pm and traffic is now slow-moving,” said Vinayak Dhakane, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic Eastern).
Mumbai Police appealed to the citizens via Twitter to stay indoors and not venture out unless necessary, advising them to plan if they really had to. In another tweet, Mumbai Police informed that there was waterlogging at Netaji Palkar Chowk, S V Road Behram Baug Junction, Sakkar Panchayat Chowk, Neelam Junction, Govandi, Hindmata Junction, Iqbal Kamani Junction, Dharavi Restaurant, Dharavi, Sion Junction, King Circle. There was major waterlogging on SV Road at Khar, Santacruz and Andheri as well.