Trains run late, flights delayed, bus routes changed

The season’s first heavy monsoon showers paralysed the country’s financial capital on Monday morning, belying the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s claim that the city is ready for the rains. The Colaba meteorological centre in the city recorded 90.4 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, while the Santacruz centre in suburban Mumbai recorded 181.1 mm.

Local trains, the lifeline of Mumbai, crawled throughout Monday morning during the rush hour. Hindmata, Parel Junction and Lalbaugh Junction were flooded. And for the first time, so were ES Patanwala Road near Byculla and Dadoji Konddev Road near Byculla zoo.

Thousands of office goers were stranded in different parts of the city. Western and harbour railway were running 20 to 30 minutes late throughout the day, while Central railway was running more than half an hour late. Air traffic was also affected. Some flights were delayed by 15 to 20 minutes.

Routes of several civic body-run buses were changed due to water logging.

Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte, at a press conference in the BMC headquarters on Monday evening, said the civic body would determine if there were lapses. “We will carry out a detailed inquiry and action will be taken against guilty contractors and officers,” he said.

The delayed work on Britannia pumping station, which was scheduled to be completed by 2012, caused flooding from Hindmata to Bycuall.

“Before starting the work on Britannia Pumping station, rehabilitation of underground storm water drain was taken up,” said Mr. Kunte. “The contractor constructed five barriers to isolate the storm water drain while the work was going on. These barriers were not demolished after the work completed. As a result, storm water didn’t pass through the drain and flooded Parel, Lalbaugh and Byculla.” The flooding took place despite the fact that there was no high tide at the time of the rains. Given the geography of the city, Mr. Kunte said, it was difficult to give an assurance that there won’t be flooding again during the monsoon.

In the last 24 hours, 11 cases of house collapse were reported in Mumbai.