Mumbai is, once again, in the grip of monsoon fury. Heavy showers and strong winds lashed the city from Saturday evening onwards, blowing the lid off the tall claims of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation about its monsoon preparedness.
Two people have been confirmed dead when a three storey building partially collapsed at Maulana Shaukat Ali Road in the city. Two more were killed in a landslide in Chembur.
Almost all low lying areas have been deluged and rail traffic has been severely affected across the city.
Milan Subway in Santacruz West, an arterial traffic junction, has been completely submerged under water. Pedestrians were seen wading in waist deep water. Traffic has been severely affected across the city since Saturday night.
Local trains have also been crippled as railroads and stations in a number of areas including Ghatkopar, Kurla, Vidyavihar, Matunga and Sion have been flooded.
"Intermittent rainfall with thunderstorms and strong winds upto 30 kilometer per hour are expected to lash across the city in the next 24 hours" said MET Department officials.
The deceased in the building mishap have been identified as Mohammed Aslam Khan (42) and Meher Firdaus (18). A portion of the ill fated building, housing a savoury shop collapsed down around 8pm on Saturday night crushing the shopkeeper and three customers underneath.
According to some reports the building figured in BMC's demolition list and the officials had instructed the residents and shopkeepers to move out.
Residents in low lying areas of Santacruz, Bandra, Khar, Vileparle, Andheri and Khandivili have been the worst affected with water gushing into the shanties and access routes being totally submerged under water.
Water level rose up to five feet in Parel, Hindmata and adjacent areas. Strong winds have also uprooted a number of trees in these areas. The situation is equally bad on Western Express Highway .
"Traffic is comparatively less on Sunday but the situation will surely worsen if rains persist and the entire city will come to a standstill," said Santosh Waingarve, a resident of Bandra East.
Residents, especially the shanty dwellers in the western suburbs, are infuriated over the laid back response of the Municipal Corporation authorities. According to them the BMC workers shied away from their responsibility even though they were aware of the gravity of the situation
"None of the BMC officials or workers have come so far to help us. Infact we ourselves are helping each other to get water out of our homes" said Jagan Gawli, a resident of Krishna Nagar in Santacruz East.
Krishna Nagar is one of the low lying areas that come face to face with water logging menace on an annual basis.
"None of the drains have been clogged in this area. Though some workers had made a field trip 15 days back the present situation is a clear cut indicator of their effectiveness" said Vijay, a Krishna Nagar resident who works as an accountant at a private firm in Andheri.
When contacted, the BMC control room told rediff.com that ward level workers have been put into service which was in direct contradiction with the public reactions and news reports received from across the city.
Fire Department officials also assured that they were on a high alert and was ready to handle any situation. However by and large the public is not satisfied with the BMC and its modus operandi and they seem to be in for a nightmarish Monday unless the rain gods have a change of mind.
Warnings have been issued to fishermen not to venture into the sea along the Maharashtra and Goa coast. Ports have also been told to remain alert and take necessary precaution.
The weather office in Colaba in South Mumbai has recorded 32.4 mm rainfall from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm on Sunday, while the amount of rain in the suburbs was 37.8 mm.
Meanwhile, rains have continued across Maharashtra. A report from Nasik said rains continued in the revenue division, comprising five districts of Nasik, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar and Ahmednagar on the fourth consecutive day, disrupting normal life.
Sources in Agriculture Department said the rain is beneficial for sowing operations.
A 30-year-old man was killed at Karanjkhed-Shivar in Nasik district on Saturday after he was struck by lightning, many villages in the district were plunged into darkness after electrical poles fell due to stormy weather.
In Raigad district, a bridge joining Mahad and Pachad Road was washed away due to severe rains, on Saturday.
A State Transport bus going to Gujarkond from Mumbai met with an accident near Ambet in which 16 passengers injured, police said.
Reports of two youth drowning in pond were also received from the district. Meanwhile, weather bureau sources said highest rainfall of 300 mm was recorded at Mhasala in Raigad district.
With PTI inputs