First monsoon showers halts Mumbai

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on June 09, 2021

Stranded local train commuters walk on the waterlogged railway tracks during rain, at Kurla, in Mumbai, Wednesday, June 9, 2021.   -  PTI

IMD had issued red alert for the state

Come monsoon and it’s the same story every year in the financial capital of India. Notwithstanding the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) claim of completion of pre-monsoon works including removal of silt from big nullahs (drains) Mumbai, was inundated in the season's first monsoon showers on Wednesday. IMD has issued a red alert for Mumbai today and a yellow alert for the next four days.

BMC’s claims of monsoon preparedness stood exposed as heavy rains lashed the city throwing normal life out of gear. Many areas witnessed inundation resulting in massive traffic jams, and affected bus and train services. Local train services from Kurla to CSMT was suspended due to waterlogging in certain areas. Central Railway suspended its mainline services CSMT- Thane and CSMT –Vashi harbour line services due to waterlogging.

Mayor Kishori Pednekar claimed that BMC was not getting support from the Railways as expected on the issue of clearing railway tracks following rainfall. Central Railway refuted Mayor’s claim.

Mumbai’s local BEST bus service routes were diverted at many places. Even as rains stopped by 6 pm heavy traffic jam continued across the city. BMC also closed the Hakim vaccination center due to waterlogging in the premises.

Political blame-game

As the opposition parties came down heavily on BMC ruled by Shiv Sena, Chief Minister Uddav Thackeray reached the disaster management cell of the BMC to review the situation. He also held meeting with officials and ordered that pumping stations must operate at full capacity to remove water on roads. He asked police and BMC to coordinate to ensure streamlining of traffic.

“We never claimed that it (city) will not be inundated. But if water doesn’t recede within four hours one can say that (pre-monsoon) work is not done properly. But this is not the case” said Mayor Pednekar speaking to reporters.

BJP leader Ashish Shelar said that Shiv Sena led BMC spends crores on pre-monsoon works including drainage and nullah cleaning but still the city is flooded every monsoon.

While politicos continued to blame each other, common citizens were finding it hard to find the way to reach home. Confusion about operations of local bus and railway services continued till late evening even as commuters crowded bus stops and railway stations.

Published on June 09, 2021

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