Heavy rains in Maharashtra claimed 46 lives across the State even as Mumbai witnessed delays in local trains and flights, apart from water logging, on Wednesday.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who reviewed the situation at a meeting, told journalists that the rains disrupted normal life, causing flash floods, uprooting trees and lightning strikes that killed 46 people and damaged 600 homes. A landslip, which occurred near Pune, has now been cleared.
Mumbai has received 277.8 mm of rainfall in June so far, while the suburbs got 283.8 mm.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that though the local trains in Mumbai were running late by half an hour, there was no stoppage on both the central and western lines. One person was killed in Mulund in northeast Mumbai when a beam fell on him as he was passing by a construction site. In Thane, eight persons were killed and five injured in a wall collapse at a hutment colony in Vartak Nagar.
A Municipal Corporation press release said some bus routes had to be changed due to water logging. However, it added that there was no water logging in the city.
There were two cases of building collapse but no one was injured.
Western Railways traffic was disrupted for around 45 minutes in the morning as a tree fell on the tracks between Dadar and Matunga. Services were resumed by afternoon.
The State government has announced an ex gratia of Rs.1 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs.50,000 for those seriously injured.
Mr. Bhujbal said the three teams of the National Disaster Response Force stationed in Mumbai at Bhandup, Kurla and Andheri East were well-equipped with boats, cutters to extricate people in case of an emergency, underwater cameras and lights. Two State Reserve Police (SRP) companies are also on standby, apart from the nine deployed in the city.
The 24-hour control room was in full swing in the Secretariat, police headquarters and the Municipal Corporation. The rains were heavy and above average all over Maharashtra except in Marathwada and Vidarbha. Pune also received heavy rains apart from the coastal Konkan, central and northern parts of the State. The heavy rainfall is expected to continue over the next three days.
Mr. Bhujbal asked news channels not to telecast old footage of flooded areas in Mumbai. The Corporation had used 50 pumps to drain flood waters, he said, resulting in minimal water logging in the city. The Corporation also has another 200 pumps ready.
Asked about the death of two persons on Juhu Beach, Mr. Bhujbal denied a shortage of life guards. He said there were enough warnings and posters asking people not to enter the sea during monsoon.
Many flights were delayed or diverted due to poor visibility and strong winds. The visibility at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport dropped to 400 metres for some time in the morning. Strong winds of around 15 to 25 knots made the cross runway impossible to use, leading to the delay of flights.
Three flights — SG 131 (DEL-BOM), IC 971 (MAA-BOM) and G8 229 (DEL-BOM) — were diverted to Ahmedabad.
The Navy rescued three critically injured crew members of Bahamas-flagged super tanker MV Jana from the turbulent high seas.
The crew suffered injuries after high waves hit the ship during a gangway operation. The condition of the injured is stable now.