Mumbai rain: 50 flights cancelled, local train service disrupted, schools shut as IMD predicts more rainfall

At least 40 bus routes in the city and suburbs were either diverted or curtailed due to waterlogging on roads at various locations.
Mumbai rains
An employee tries to clear waterlogging at a school compound after a heavy rainfall in Mumbai.(Photo | AP)

MUMBAI: Local train services on the Central Railway routes were severely affected and flight operations were also hit in Mumbai on Monday after heavy rains in the city, officials said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared a holiday for the day for all the civic, government and private schools and colleges in the city to avoid inconvenience to students.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday took stock of the heavy rain situation in Mumbai by chairing a meeting at Mantralaya and visiting the control room of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). At Mantralaya, state minister for Relief and Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Anil Patil was also present.

After attending the meeting at Mantralaya, Shinde went to the disaster department control room at the civic headquarters and reviewed the situation.

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Swapnil Nila, chief public relations officer of the Central Railway (CR), said train services on the fast line of the main corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai and neighbouring Thane were suspended due to waterlogging at various places.

Passengers wait for trains at a waterlogged railway station, during rains, in Mumbai, Monday.
Passengers wait for trains at a waterlogged railway station, during rains, in Mumbai, Monday.Photo | PTI

Suburban services were running on the slow line, he said. The Harbour corridor services were also temporarily suspended due to waterlogging at Chunnabhati.

Commuters complained that the operational suburban services were running late. There was heavy rush of commuters at some of the key stations and in trains.

The CR officials said due to heavy rain and high tide in Mumbai, local train movement in the suburban section was affected and asked people to avoid travelling unless unavoidable.

A high tide at Gateway of India, in Mumbai, Sunday.
A high tide at Gateway of India, in Mumbai, Sunday.Photo | PTI

The Western Railway said suburban trains were running up to 10 minutes late because the water was above the track level between Matunga Road and Dadar due to heavy showers.

"High capacity water pumps are being utilised to drain water away from the railway tracks to ensure a smooth commute for Mumbaikars," a Western Railway spokesperson said.

Flight services at the Mumbai airport were severely impacted with runway operations shut for over an hour and 50 flights cancelled due to low visibility.

Of the 50 cancelled flights (both arrivals and departures), 42 services were of the no-frills IndiGo and six of Air India, they said.

"Fifty flights have been cancelled till 11 am on Monday at the Mumbai airport due to low visibility and heavy rains. Of these, IndiGo had to cancel 42 flights, including 20 departing ones, while six flights of Air India including three arrivals were cancelled," a source said.

The government-owned Alliance Air also had to cancel two (one departure and one arrival) of its flights on Monday, the source said.

Earlier sources said that runway operations at the airport had to be suspended from 2.22 am to 3.40 am, leading to diversion of some 27 flights to nearby airports.

Flights were diverted to cities such as Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Indore, among others, they said.

A spokesperson of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking said at least 40 bus routes in the city and suburbs were either diverted or curtailed due to waterlogging on roads at various locations.

The IMD issued a "Nowcast" warning at around 10.15 am, valid for three hours, predicting moderate spells of rainfall in the city and suburbs. It forecast "heavy rainfall at isolated places" in the next 24 hours.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in a X post said," The work of removing water from the track is going on by the railway administration and efforts are on to restore the traffic soon."

"I have directed all emergency agencies to be on high alert. Citizens should go out only if necessary. I am also appealing to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Police Administration and Emergency Services to cooperate, " he said.

The IMD Mumbai in the morning predicted "generally cloudy sky with moderate to heavy rain in the city and suburbs" in the next 24 hours, the BMC said.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Kurla and Ghatkopar areas of Mumbai and in other parts of Maharashtra, including Thane, Vasai ( Palghar), Mahad (Raigad), Chiplun (Ratnagiri), Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Sindhudurg, a spokesperson of the NDRF said.

More than 30 displaced animals rescued amid rains in Mumbai, surrounding districts

More than 30 animals, birds and reptiles were rescued in Mumbai and surrounding districts as heavy rains pounded the region, a forest official said on Monday.

Cases of lost and abandoned pets, strays, and domestic animals were also reported, along with wildlife distress calls from the city and suburbs, said Santosh Bhagane from the Mumbai range rescue team of the forest department.

"We have received more than 60 distress calls in 24 hours and rescued more than 30 animals, birds and reptiles from Mumbai and surrounding districts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar," said Pawan Sharma, founder and president of RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare) and the honorary wildlife warden with the forest department.

Star Tortoises, which are not native to the city, and migratory birds like Flamingos and Ibis were sighted with native species like owls, kites and kingfishers.

Pythons, vipers, cobras, rat snakes, and checkered keelbacks, among other reptiles displaced due to rains, were rescued from the periphery of forest areas and water-logged places, Sharma said.

Bats, squirrels, and mongoose were also rescued in different parts of the city, he added.

54 persons rescued from flooded houses in Thane, bridge washed away

A bridge was washed away while 54 persons were rescued after their houses were inundated due to the very heavy rains.

At least 275 houses in different areas suffered damages and around 20 vehicles were swept away following the heavy downpour on Sunday, the district administration said in a release.

Thane received 65 mm rainfall on Sunday, it said.

Thane city recorded 120. 87 mm rain in the 24-hour period ending at 6.30 am on Monday, local civic body's disaster management cell chief Yasin Tadvi said.

Shahapur taluka in Thane district was the worst affected where a bridge on Asangaon-Mahuri road was washed away and the Barangi river in Gujrati Baug area was flooded, the release said.

Flood waters entered 70 houses in the area, damaging various household items, while 20 two-wheelers and four-wheelers were washed away, it said.

In Gotheghar area of Shahapur, water entered Wafa Nursery area where 38 occupants of three houses were rescued.

In Vashind area, 12 persons were rescued and shifted to safer places after 125 houses were inundated, officials said.

The heavy downpour also led to washing away of soil by the side of railway tracks in Atgaon.

Nearly 12 houses in Shahapur also partially collapse, the officials said.

In Bhiwandi taluka, water entered 40 houses in different houses and a 'kutcha' (mud) house in Goutepada also suffered damage, the officials said.

There was no report of any loss of life and local talathis (revenue officers) have been instructed to speed up the panchnama (spot inspection) and report the losses, they said.

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