Flights diverted, many stranded at railway stations in Mumbai

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On Sunday morning, local train services and flight operations in Mumbai were affected after the city received heavy rain overnight. Water-logging on railway tracks due to heavy rains and high tide on Saturday affected movement of trains on Thane and Panvel sections of the Central Railway (CR) in Mumbai, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at various stations.
“Due to heavy and continuous rains and accumulation of water in few sections, services have been suspended as a precautionary measure,” sad Central Railway spokesperson Sunil Udasi.
Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson said that there have been six go arounds while two flight have been diverted so far.
Coming to the aid of train passengers, the city civic body has opened relief camps at schools in south and central Mumbai where refreshments are being provided to them.
The water level on the tracks rose due to high tide in the Arabian sea coupled with rains in the afternoon, which caused water to flow backwards towards the Kurla, Sion and Chunabhati section, said Central Railway chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi.
“Suburban services were suspended between Kurla-Sion stations on the main line and between Kurla and Chunabhatti on Harbour line,” he said.
The CR has temporarily suspended the services between CSMT-Vashi route of Navi Mumbai on Harbour line and CSMT-Thane section on the main line.
As trains came to a halt, commuters alighted on marooned tracks amid rains and struggled through water to reach the nearest stations.
Many videos of the commuters walking on the tracks were circulated on social media.
Harbour line, which connects Panvel in Raigad district to CSMT in south Mumbai, suffered the double whammy as a portion of a ROB (Road Over Bridge) divider fell on the railway tracks at Tilak Nagar station.
No report of injuries to anybody is reported so far.
“The debris are being cleared from track. Road traffic on this ROB has been suspended,” Udasi said.
He said special fast services are being operated between CSMT and Dadar stations.
“These special trains will not halt at Masjid, Sandhurst Road, Chinchpokli and Currey Road stations up to Dadar,” the chief spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made special arrangements for passengers stuck at CSMT in south Mumbai at the civic-run Manoharlalji school in Bora Bazar area.
“For the passengers who wanted to leave, special buses are being operated between Wadala Road and Vashi in Navi Mumbai. By 4 pm, as many as 12 buses had left for Vashi from Wadala,” the civic body said in a statement.
“Schools have been opened for stranded passengers at CST, Dadar and Kurla stations as relief camps where water, tea and snacks are being provided,” the statement said.
Suburban trains on the Western line between Churchgate and Virar operated without any major delay.
The impact of cancellation of trains would have been severe had it been a week day, as lakhs of people living in Mumbai and extended suburbs in Thane, Palghar and Navi Mumbai commute by suburban trains everyday.
As per the latest information from the Central Railway, a train has left for Kalyan from Dadar station around 5.20 pm.
Incessant rains lashed Mumbai and its surrounding areas on Saturday and the India Meteorological Department said more heavy rainfall is expected in the metropolis during the next 24 hours, prompting authorities to declare a holiday in schools and colleges.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday issued ‘red alert’ for Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Nasik, Pune, and Satara districts for August 3-4 and Mumbai for August 3.
A red alert denotes likelihood of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall.
“Widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places are likely to continue over Konkan and Maharashtra during next 2-3 days,” the IMD said.
The IMD cautioned people, saying heavy rainfall warning on a “very-high-tide day” (Saturday) is “not a good combination”.
In neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts, heavy rains disrupted normal life.
The unceasing downpour in Palghar district prompted authorities to declare a holiday for educational institutions on Saturday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issued an advisory asking Mumbai residents to not venture into the sea or in water-logged areas in view of the IMD warning.
“The IMD gave a warning of extremely heavy rainfall for the next 24 hours from 1 pm on August 3. Citizens should avoid venturing around sea also at water-logged areas,” the civic body said in a statement.
BMC said in a tweet that a holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in the city.
Deputy Director General of Meteorology (IMD Mumbai) K S Hosalikar tweeted intense rainfall is expected in Mumbai, Thane and Navy Mumbai in 24-36 hours.
“The highest high tide of the four monsoon months is also today of 4.90 metres at afternoon, exactly during the period when IMD has forecast intense rains for the city. Heavy rainfall warnings on very high tide day in Mumbai is not a good combination. Please avoid outing, beaches,” he said in another tweet.
Overnight rains in Mumbai and its suburbs led to water-logging in several areas.
Water-logging on tracks disrupted the suburban train services, as locals of the Central and Harbour routes were running behind schedule by 15 minutes.
In the afternoon, the services between Kurla and Sion were suspended due to rise in water level and high tide. However, flight operations at the Mumbai airport were not impacted, an airport official said.
“Overnight heavy rains in Mumbai and its adjoining areas has led to water-logging at some paces, which has affected the flow of traffic, especially in parts of Malad, Andheri and Dahisar,” a senior official of the BMC said.
Chief spokesperson of the Central Railway, Sunil Udasi, said suburban trains were running with “cautious speed”.
“Due to high tide and water level increase, suburban services between Kurla-Sion and between Kurla-Chunabhatti on the Harbour line have been suspended,” he said.
Mumbai police advised people to take precautions.
“As per the weather forecast, intense spells of rain likely to continue in the next 4 hrs and heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hrs. We request Mumbaikars to take adequate precautions & ensure safety. Dial 100 in case of any emergency. Take care Mumbai,” it tweeted.
Due to overnight rainfall in Thane district, roads and nullahs in some area were flooded. The rainwater entered a few housing societies and swept away vehicles, officials said.
Low-lying areas in Thane city were affected the most and parking areas were flooded. Schools in Thane declared a holiday due to heavy rains. Buses and autos were not plying due to flooding, the officials said.
In Palghar district, several villages were marooned as the roads connecting them were flooded. A video showed some cattle getting swept away in the water.
Palghar District Collector Kailas Shinde said the weather department has forecast heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday.
He said a holiday was declared for all the educational institutions in the district.

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