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Rains lash Mumbai; Help for stranded motorists

Last updated on: June 08, 2008 21:35 IST

Heavy rains lashed Mumbai for the second day on Sunday resulting in clogging of roads, disruption of rail and air traffic even as one more person died, taking the death toll this rainy season to four.

The Meteorological Department said there was 144.6 mm of rainfall at Colaba in south Mumbai and 85.6 mm at its Santacruz station in northwest Mumbai between 8.30 pm on Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday.

With rains continuing unabated since Saturday, most city dwellers chose not to step out on Sunday.

Suburban rail services were affected with trains on the Western and Central Railways running delayed.

Air services from the city's international airport were also delayed by about half an hour, a spokesperson for the Mumbai International Airport Limited said.

Many areas in the city continued to face water logging with the civic body saying flooding of streets was reported in 42 areas, including south Mumbai and the suburbs, disrupting vehicular movement.
A 31-year-old man, Sachin Govalkar, was killed after a rain shed of a six-storey apartment fell on him in Dadar in central Mumbai. This is the fourth death since the arrival of the monsoons.

Three persons were killed on Saturday in separate incidents of electrocution and wall collapse.

Two incidents of wall collapse were also reported from Pydhonie in south Mumbai and Worli. There were no injuries reported in both incidents.

Relief for stranded motorists:
Motorists stuck in traffic jams following heavy rains in the city may soon be able to wheel their cars to strategic parking locations along arterial routes and come back to claim them during calmer weather.

"We have asked the police to finalise 20 such locations for vehicles, which can be parked if the roads are clogged due to heavy rains," Chief Secretary Johnny Joseph said.

The plots for parking would be located on arterial routes like highways and other important routes used by vehicular traffic and could be utilised by private vehicle owners, he said.

Most motor traffic movement in the city either exists in the north-south corridors, between the suburbs to south Mumbai where most offices and businesses are located, or between the eastern to western suburbs.

Joseph said the idea of having such parking plots was thought of after the deluge on July 26, 2005 when hundreds of motorists abandoned their vehicles on highways due to water-logging, resulting in a lot of time being spent in clearing roads clogged with parked vehicles.

"The police will identify the plots and the access for the same will either be provided by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) or the authority in charge of the plot," Joseph said.

The plots would be made available only during emergency circumstances and not on a daily basis, as parking lots are in short supply in many parts of the city.

The motorists who park their cars would be expected to use public or other private modes of transport to get to their destination.

Image: Buses go through a flooded road as cycles and two-wheelers lie submerged in water, in the low-lying area near Grant Road station, in Mumbai.
Reportage: PTI | Photograph: PTI Photo

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