Mumbai, Sept 20: Heavy rains coupled with thunder and lightning once again battered Mumbai, disrupting the movement of vehicular traffic in some parts of the city and flight operation at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said that Mumbai might witness similar heavy spells of rains on Wednesday as well, following which the Maharashtra government instructed schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to remain shut today. Catch live news updates of Mumbai rains day 2 here.
“Schools are instructed to remain closed tomorrow for safety due to mixed predictions; This holiday will be compensated in Diwali #MumbaiRains,” tweeted Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde. “The precautionary holiday will be applicable for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. #MumbaiRains,” Tawde said in another tweet. The downpour, which started on Tuesday afternoon, was accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Flight operations at the Mumbai airport were suspended for nearly half an hour as visibility dropped well below the required 550 meter-mark following heavy rains and lightning. “The visibility dropped to 250 meters at around 1849 hrs (6:49 pm), forcing the airport authorities to shut operations. It could only be resumed at 1916 hrs (7:16 pm) after the visibility improved,” a source told PTI.
Due to heavy rainfall, several low-lying areas in central Mumbai like Parel, Dadar and some areas of the suburbs like Chembur, Kurla, Andheri, Malad, Borivali, Dahisar experienced waterlogging, slowing down the home-bound traffic, but there was no dislocation on the roads and highways. Heavy traffic was reported on the Eastern Express Highway, the Amar Mahal flyover, the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, Jijabai Bhosale Road and on the Sion Bandra Link Road.
Local train services on the Harbour line were affected between 2:40 pm to 3:15 pm after a tree that fell on the overhead cables between Vile Parle and Santacruz. Services between CSMT and Andheri were affected due to this, while the main line remained operational. Other local trains on Central and Western lines were running normally. “The trains are running late by 10 minutes or so but there were barely any cancellations,” said Ravindra Goel, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway, was quoted as saying.
A forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places with extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai is expected in the next 24 hours, according to IMD Mumbai. The city is fearing a repeat of the massive floods last month that brought the megapolis to a grinding halt as most part of the island city, home to around 20 million residents, went under floodwaters and slush.
(With agency inputs)