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High tide adds to Mumbai's woes

July 01, 2008 09:00 IST
Last Updated: July 01, 2008 14:01 IST

Heavy rains lashed Mumbai throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning, bringing traffic to a virtual standstill in many parts of the city.

According to the Regional Meteorological Department, Colaba in South Mumbai recorded a heavy rainfall of 200 mm while Santacruz (suburbs) recorded 142.9 mm.

Water logging up to one and a half feet was reported in Bandra, Sion, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Andheri and several low lying areas.

Rail services were badly affected with the Central Railway services coming to a complete halt due to water logging between Kurla and Vidyavihar suburbs. However, trains on the Western and Harbour lines are running late by 15 to 20 minutes, according to railway sources.

Traffic snarls were also reported across various junctions in the city with several low lying areas inundated by water, police said.

Flights from the international airports were delayed by an hour and a half, according to the Mumbai International Airport website.

Chembur, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli were the worst affected areas. Many areas in western suburbs and South Mumbai witnessed serpentine traffic jams and waterlogging.

The heavy rains triggered a landslide in Khandala on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

Some of the national and international flights have been delayed between one and half hours and four hours.

Many schools in the city have declared a holiday and children who have already reached the institutions have been asked to return home.

The drains, nullahs and rivers are already in spate as the city received copious rainfall since last night.

Sources in the meteorological department told PTI that monsoon has arrived on time and the city has already received more than 10 per cent of rainfall during this season.

A combination of high tide and incessant rainfall would prevent water from receding until late in the day, civic authorities said.

"A high tide of about 4.33 metres is expected to prevail between 11 am and 4 pm as a result of which drainage of water would be hampered," a civic official told PTI.

Waterlogging was reported in areas like Kalachowkie, Hindmata junction, Dadar, Kings Circle, Grant Road, Mazgaon and other low lying areas in central Mumbai.

In the suburbs, flooding was reported in Goregaon, Malad, Milan subway and Mulund, authorities said. Pumps had been deployed in many areas to drain water out of low-lying areas, however, there had been no requirement for the deployment of its emergency services so far, they said.

The city's drainage system is presently capable of handling about 40 mm of rainfall per hour, but heavy rains since Monday has put the city's storm water drainage system under strain, authorities said.

Prior to the monsoons, the city's municipal commissioner had said the drainage system would be able to deal with about 400 mm of rainfall in a day, as long as there was no high tide.

However, the civic body's website, which authorities had promised would display updated data on the rainfall and flooding across the city, did not do so, leaving city residents to rely on the media for information.

Many schools stayed shut and students were sent home. Some officegoers also preferred the comfort of their homes to braving the journey to their workplaces.

Mumbai was earlier badly hit on July 26, 2005, when rains virtually flooded India's financial capital and life there came to a standstill for a few days, with all major routes submerged in flood water.

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