Season’s first heavy monsoon showers paralysed the financial capital of India on Monday morning, exposing false claims made by Shiv Sena led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) of keeping the city ready for monsoon.
The Colaba meteorological centre in the city recorded 90.4 mm rainfall in last 24 hours, while the Santacruz centre in the suburban Mumbai recorded 181.1 mm rainfall in the same period.
While the lifeline of Mumbai, local trains crawled throughout the Monday morning during the rush hour, heavy rains resulted in flooding at 84 different parts in Mumbai. Major flooding happened at the Hindmata, Parel Junction, Lalbaugh Junction. Apart from these spots, Mumbai experienced flooding at ES Patanwala Road near Byculla and Dadoji Konddev Road near Byculla zoo for the first time.
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte in a press conference held in the BMC headquarters on Monday evening accepted that it was manmade disaster and the civic body will be investigating the matter. “We will carry out a detailed inquiry and action will be taken against the guilty contractors and officers,” he said.
The delayed work on Britannia pumping station, which was supposed to be completed by 2012, caused flooding at Hindmata to Byculla. “Before starting the work on the Britannia Pumping station the work of rehabilitation of the underground storm water drain was taken in hand. But the contractor has constructed five barriers for isolation of the storm water drain while the work was going on. These barriers were not demolished after the work completed and the storm water didn’t pass through the drain, that causes a flooding at Parel, Lalbaugh and Byculla,” said Mr. Kunte. Several routes of civic body run bus services were changed due to water logging.
On Monday Mr. Kunte ordered inquiry and take action against the contractor who forget to complete the work as per condition. “First we will take action against the contractor and then after inquiry will fix responsibility against civic officials who are responsible for the chaos,” he said.
The flooding in several parts of Mumbai took place despite the fact that there was no high tide at the time of rains. Mr. Kunte said that it is very difficult to give assurance that the city won’t be flooded again during monsoon, due to the geography of the city.
Thousands of office goers were stranded in different parts of the city as local trains moved at snail’s pace due to constant overpouring. Western and harbour railway were running 20 to 30 minutes late throughout the day, while Central railway was running late by more than half an hour. Air traffic was also affected on Monday morning and some planes were delayed by 15 to 20 minutes.
In the last 24 hours 25 trees collapse cases, 11 cases of house collapse were reported during the rains in Mumbai. No injuries have been reported.