Monsoon rains disrupt traffic, schools in Mumbai

Flooded railway tracks delayed a dozen long-distance trains, while suburban trains were also hit

Indian youths wade through the water on a flooded road during heavy rain showers in Mumbai.

Mumbai: A third straight day of heavy monsoon rains disrupted trains and traffic in India’s financial capital of Mumbai on Monday, with flooding in several areas prompting the government to declare a holiday for schools and colleges.

Weather officials warned that heavy rainfall was expected for the next four days, in a statement on the website of the meteorological bureau.

“Heavy rains forecast, everyone is advised to stay safe,” Vinod Tawde, the education minister of the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, said in a message on social network Twitter.

A gangman attempts to unclog a gutter at a railway track during heavy rains in Mumbai, India. Reuters

“Precautionary holiday declared for schools and colleges in the Mumbai metropolitan region, for the safety of the students due to the heavy rainfall,” he added.

Flooded railway tracks delayed a dozen long-distance trains, while suburban trains, a lifeline for the city’s population of about 18 million, were also hit, railway officials said.

The city’s lifeline, the Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) were running late by around 15-20 minutes due to waterlogged tracks at various points on the network, causing misery for millions of morning-peak hour commuters.

The city was lashed with 144.47mm of rain, the eastern suburbs got 107.21mm and the western suburbs received 131.32mm till 8.30am. It has continued with short spells of break.

After the Gokhale Bridge incident in Andheri which left one woman dead, the WR on Sunday announced continued closure of the northern carriageway and the footpaths — the Kalanagar road overbridge (ROB) — south cantilever portion footpath at Mahim, the old Vasai Road ROB and the skywalk portion at Malad foot overbridge (FOB) as a precautionary measure.

There was waterlogging for the second day in several low-lying areas like Dadar, Sion, Parel, Kurla, Vidyavihar, Andheri, Malad and Jogeshwari suburbs hitting road traffic and pedestrian movements.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the catchment areas of all the lakes supplying drinking water to the city of 18 million, received good rains, bringing a cheer to the Mumbaikars.

In the past 24 hours, Mumbai received an average of 144.3mm rains, making it one of the wettest spells in the current monsoon, with forecast of heavy to very heavy rains in the entire coastal belt over the next 48 hours till Wednesday, the IMD said.

Since the past 72 hours, six people were killed in rain-related incidents in the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) in different districts.

After heavy rains, several big and small rivers, streams and ponds in the tourist hotspots like Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Tansa Forest Sanctuary, Yeoor Hills and other areas in MMR, besides the Vaitarna, Surya and Ulhas Rivers in the MMR, overflowed.

Around a dozen tourists trapped near a swollen waterfall in Ratnagiri were rescued by a group of mountaineers and hikers, and some schools in flood-prone areas have declared a precautionary holiday on Monday.

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