Rains batter Mumbai for fourth day, NDRF rescues stranded rail passengers

Torrential rain continued to lash the metropolis and its neighbouring areas for the fourth day. NDRF and RPF teams have brought the passengers of the stranded Vadodara Express to Nallasopara station

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@WesternRly
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@WesternRly
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NH Web Desk

Torrential rain continued to lash the metropolis and its neighbouring areas for the fourth day on Tuesday, disrupting railway services and badly affecting normal life.

National Disaster Response Force and Railway Protection Force have brought the passengers of Vadodara Express, which is still stranded between Nallasopara and Virar to Nallasopara station. Buses have been arranged to take them to the nearest station. At least 35 members of NDRF team reached Nallasopara railway station to help stranded commuters, tweeted Western Railways.

Suburban services were suspended on a section of the Western Railway (WR) due to water-logging on tracks and several long-distance and inter-city express trains were delayed or cancelled, officials said.

The downpour flooded many roads and streets in low-lying areas of the city and its adjoining districts of Palghar and Thane. People at some places were seen wading through waist-deep water.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that an additional 150 pumps have been deployed in Mumbai to drain out rainwater from flooded areas. He said that the pumping systems were all working at full capacity.

In Palghar district, 400 people were stranded and communication to 40 villages was cut off. Defence helicopters also could not take-off for relief and rescue work due to the inclement weather. Palghar district has received unprecedented rainfall, following which the district administration has been asked to stay on high alert, reported Firstpost.

The Tulsi lake, a major source of water supply for the city and its suburbs, overflowed due to the heavy showers.

Mumbai’s famous tiffin carriers Dabbawalas, also suspended their services on Tuesday.
“We did not collect tiffins today because of the water-logging across the city. Our people were finding it hard to wade through knee-deep water on their bicycles,” said Subhash Talekar, Mumbai Dabbawalas' Association's spokesperson.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rain till Thursday. The IMD's Colaba observatory (for Mumbai) recorded 165.8 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period of 8.30 am yesterday till 8.30 am on Tuesday.

The Santacruz observatory, which records rainfall for suburban Mumbai, reported 184.3 mm rainfall in the same period. Since last night, over 200 mm rainfall has been recorded and this has led to waterlogging on rail tracks, a railway official said.

Keeping in view the safety of passengers, services on the fast track between Vasai and Virar in Palghar district and that of the air-conditioned local trains have been suspended till the water level on tracks recedes, he said.

However, the slow track services were operational between Churchgate in south Mumbai and Virar. Trains were running late by at least 20 minutes, the railway official said, adding that pumps were being used to drain out water from tracks.

Arrangements were being made to provide snacks and water to passengers of the long-distance trains that were delayed or stopped at various stations, the official said.

A Defence spokesperson said, "Our (Navy) rescue, diving and air teams are on standby. No assistance has been sought so far.” There were reports of waterlogging form several areas, including Hindmata, Parel, King's Circle, Dharavi, Kurla, Sion, Bhandup, Vikhroli, Mulund, Dadar and Borivili, a BMC disaster management unit official said.

“Vehicular movement was slow on the Western Express Highway. However, traffic movement on the Eastern Express Highway was normal,” he said.

Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses on 14 routes were diverted, a BEST spokesperson said.

Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde had asked school principals to decide if institutions need to be functioning.

“Instructed Deputy Director to ensure that schools in Thane and Palghar districts remain closed due to the erratic weather conditions. In Mumbai, the principals of schools are instructed to take the call on school closure, gauging the water logging in the adjacent areas," Tawde tweeted.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked people not to believe in rumours, doing rounds on the social media, of a cyclone approaching the city.

with PTI inputs

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