Mumbai: In a stark reminder of the deluge that engulfed the city on July 26, 2005, the maximum city came to a complete standstill on Tuesday when an unabating downpour lashed Mumbai, inundating roads, causing traffic snarls and stranding commuters. Though there were no casualties — unlike in the case of the 2005 deluge — the impact on the city residents’ life was no less.
The showers threw regular life out of gear, with several parts of the city getting flooded; road and railway services being hit badly; water entering houses and hospitals; and hapless people being stranded across the city. According to the India meteorological department, the Santa Cruz weather station recorded 88.4 mm of rainfall in the suburbs in the last 24 hours.
The Colaba weather station recorded 151.8mm of rainfall during the same time period. As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s automatic weather stations, from 8 am to 6 pm, the city area received 173.4mm of rainfall, whereas the eastern and western suburbs witnessed 193.85 mm and 192.77 mm of rainfall respectively.
Weather officials believe this is the heaviest and longest bout of rain since July 26, 2005 when the city was ravaged by floods.
The meteorological department has also predicted ‘extremely heavy rainfall’ in the next 24 to 48 hours on the western coast of the state, including Mumbai, and some other areas. As the rain’s fury kept increasing on Tuesday, it had huge impact on city life as several low-lying areas like Sion, Chunabhatti, Pratiksha Nagar, Hindmata, Chembur, Dadar TT, Matunga, Maheshwari Udyan, Parel, Mahim Subway, Prabhadevi, Bandra, Kurla, Vidyavihar, Powai, Santa Cruz, Juhu, Malad went underwater quickly. At many places, the water rose up to waist-level.
“It looked like 26 July had revisited the city. There was water everywhere in Central Mumbai. The entire Sion-Parel belt had gone underwater, making residents jittery. The rising water levels added to their fear. In Parsee Colony and Matunga, water had entered in several houses,” said civic activist Nikhil Desai from King’s Circle.
All major roads such as the Western Express Highway, Eastern Express Highway, Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Santa Cruz-Kurla Link Road, Babasaheb Ambedkar Road and Lal Bhahadur Shastri Road witnessed huge traffic jams. At several places, vehicular traffic was diverted due to water-logging. South-bound traffic towards Matunga was diverted to Wadala due to water-logging on the Eastern Express Highway at Amar Mahal Junction, S.G. Barve Road and V.N. Purav Road in Chembur.
The BMC authorities asked people to stay indoors, but it was too late for most, who had to wade through dirty brown waters to offices. At some places, vehicles could barely be seen above the waterline. There were also the only-too-familiar sights of thick branches nestling on shattered windshields or dented car tops.
On Tuesday afternoon, traffic was closed on the Bandra-Worli Sealink due to heavy water-logging at its Worli end. Poor visibility and high velocity winds further made the sealink unsafe as motorists complained of cars getting buffeted around by the wind.
As the water-logging was cleared, police finally allowed vehicular movement on the sealink....