Mumbai, Aug 5 (IANS) Heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds of upto 70 kmph, lashed Mumbai city and suburbs, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and coastal Konkan for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, hitting suburban train services and disrupting normal life, officials said.
In a rare development, many parts of south Mumbai like Churchgate, Marine Lines, Marine Drive, Kalbadevi, Dongri, Byculla, Mazagaon, Parel, Dadar and surroundings witnessed heavy waterlogging, throwing the central business district out of gear.
Locals attributed it to the ongoing work on the Mumbai Metro Railway and the Coastal Road Project, though officials declined to comment.
Central Railway (CR) suburban train services were suspended between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kurla on the main line and CSMT and Vashi on the Harbour Line after the heavy downpour, said CR spokesperson Shivaji Sutar.
Similarly, Western Railway spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that owing to heavy rains, some suburban trains were suspended and all trains were reversed from Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri.
At least 250 commuters stranded in two trains between Byculla and Masjid Bunder stations on the CR were rescued by police and disaster teams.
At the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, over half a dozen flights had to do a go-around before coming in but there were no diversions or cancellations, said officials.
Major landmarks like the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Tower suffered the brunt of the rain fury when its massive signboard on the 29th floor got ripped off and hung precariously.
Some sections of a cement cladding adorning the exteriors of the Jaslok Hospital in south Mumbai were blown off and fell in pieces on the road below, but there were no reports of any casualties.
The roof and metal supports of the iconic D.Y. Patil cricket stadium in Navi Mumbai were badly damaged in the strong winds and rain.
In some areas in south Mumbai, Kandivali, Dahisar, Kurla, Parel, Dadar, Wadala and Sion, water rushed into ground-floor homes, shops or offices as incessant rains continued all day, and the subways in Dahisar, Malad and Andheri were flooded, preventing east-west movement of traffic.
Two persons suffered injuries in a minor house crash in Bhandup, while there were more than 150 incidents of tree crashes in the city, and 10 incidents of electric short-circuits, but there were no fatalities.
Huge traffic snarls were witnessed in south Mumbai with trees falling on some roads in Churchgate, Marine Lines, Charni Road and Worli, hitting vehicular traffic on the Eastern and the Western Express Highways.
With thousands of commuters getting stranded, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday evening said that it had made arrangements for people at 130 civic schools outside the major railway stations.
Heavy rains also lashed the adjoining coastal districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, besides downpours in Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, and Pune, since the past 24 hours
In Ratnagiri and Raigad, more than 25 villages in two sub-districts remained cut off, while in Mahad town in Ratnagiri, rubber boats were deployed by disaster relief agencies to rescue several families stranded in at least four feet water, and 63 were saved from Sonyachi Gaon in Raigad district.
Rains pounded Palghar and Thane causing waterlogging in many towns like Mira Road, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Naigaon, Vasai, Virar and Dahanu.
Till evening, Mumbai recorded an average of 22.9 cm rainfall and the suburbs notched 9.5 cm.
The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy spells of rain in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan area in the next 24 hours.
Amid apprehensions of a 2005-like flood situation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the monsoon situation and the state government has rushed 15 disaster relief teams for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur to help in any contingency.