Mumbai floods: Rains claim 6 lives as city slowly gets back on its feet; political blame game begins

As the skies opened up a day after torrential rain and high waves on Tuesday, life in Mumbai slowly came back on its feet on Wednesday after civic authorities worked overtime to clear roads and tackle the rush of patients in municipal hospitals.

Two toddlers were among at least six people who died after floods caused by heavy seasonal monsoon rains destroyed homes and disrupted traffic in India’s financial capital, police said on Wednesday.

People walk through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai. PTI

People walk through a flooded street during heavy rains in Mumbai on Tuesday. PTI

Police said a 45-year-old woman and a child, members of the same family, died after their home in the northeastern suburb of Vikhroli crumbled late on Tuesday, while a 2-year-old girl died in a wall collapse. In Thane, three people died after being swept away by floods, police added.

Leaves of municipal staff have been cancelled and they have been asked to report to their respective work sites immediately, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's chief told PTI. He said over 25,000 civic staffers reported for work on Wednesday morning.

Civic authorities cleared the streets which had become slushy and strewn with garbage to ease traffic flow in the congested roads. "Our first and foremost task is to clear the road traffic which is facing hurdles owing to silt and garbage which has got collected on street several places," an official told PTI.

As Mumbai prepares for visarjan ceremonies of Ganesh idols in the next few days, the roads also had to be cleared of trees and branches which had fallen during the heavy rain. "We are also repairing non-functional pumps installed at critical locations to flush out rainwaters," the official said.

The BMC, ruled by the Shiv Sena, had come under fire from various quarters, including commentators and cultural personalities for shoddy infrastructure and preparedness to meet eventualities.

Suburban local trains were massively hit on Tuesday with disruption in services due to flooding on the railway tracks at several places. Almost all train lines have now been repaired and are now functioning as usual. However, flight schedules continued to be affected by the extreme weather.

Schools and colleges in mumbai, along with  Maharashtra government offices remained closed in view of the MeT department forecasting heavy rains in the city. Most of these institutions, however, have not declared a holiday for Thursday.

The Santa Cruz observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Mumbai registered 331.4 mm rainfall on Tuesday, the heaviest since the 26 July, 2005 record of 944 mm, which had caused the worst havoc in decades in the city. This is also the highest rainfall in a day in August since 1997. It was second only to 346.2 mm of rainfall registered on 23 August, 1997, the data revealed.

The Colaba observatory of the IMD registered 110 mm of rainfall on Tuesday, an IMD official said. Thane received 247 mm rainfall, while the downpour measured in Palghar was 280 mm, it said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 31, 2017 19:05 PM

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