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Mumbai rains: IMD issues red alert, BMC defends monsoon preparedness

The Indian Meteorological Department on Wednesday issued a red alert for Mumbai as the financial capital of the country was deluged with rain with the onset of the southwest monsoon. The city’s disaster management authority is on high alert and ready for any eventuality.

A red alert is an indicator of the possibility of extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places.

Heavy rain lashed several parts of the city since the early morning hours, disrupting normal life. Train services and bus services have been hugely impacted with water logging reported in several low lying areas.

While the IMD sent out a red alert for June 9, an orange alert has been issued for the next four days. The weather department also said that the next five days are going to be crucial and could experience heavy rainfall.

ALSO READ | Roads waterlogged, rail services hit as heavy rain lashes Mumbai | See photos, videos

Colaba recorded 77.4 mm of rain in last 24 hours, while Santa Cruz saw 59.6 mm in the 24 hours.

Along with Mumbai, IMD issued red alert for Thane, Palghar, and Raigad.

Looking at the seriousness of the situation, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray directed various concerned departments to remain alert. Thackeray will also visit the disaster management control room at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters.

BMC UNDER FIRE FOR SEVERE WATERLOGGING

Waterlogging has been reported at several places in Mumbai following heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours. With people struggling to move about due to the flooded roads, the BMC is drawing flack for the lack of monsoon preparedness.

Defending the work done by the municipal body, BMC commissioner I S Chahal said regardless of desilting work, there will be water logging if it rains more than 30 mm in an hour.

WATCH | Heavy rain disrupts Mumbai; Roads waterlogged, rail services hit

Speaking to India Today, Chahal said there are a few trouble spots in Mumbai like Hindmata, Sion, Dahisar subway, Chunabhatti and Andheri subway, which get flooded during rains. He said at Hindmata junction underground rainwater storage tanks are being built and the work will be completed in the next 30 days.

“Major portion of this Rs 140 crore project was completed in six months, but we had to build an underground pipeline from Hindmata to Pramod Mahajan garden. As the pipeline was passing through National Textile Corporation, we sought permission from them. The permission came on May 30, now the project will be completed in 30 days. Hindmata is like a saucer and hence water logging occurs in this area. Once this project is completed you will see the difference in July, August and September,” said Chahal.

The commissioner claimed there was no traffic jam at Hindmata on Wednesday because of a four-foot elevated road which connects two flyovers. “Traffic on the route near Dadar East used to come to a standstill but today traffic movement was smooth,” he said.

However, water logging was reported at multiple locations in Sion, like Gandhi market and Sion station. The project at Gandhi market will be completed by June 20. Central railway tracks were flooded and train services were halted.

“From Tuesday night 11 pm to Wednesday 11 am, 160 mm of rainfall was received, out of which 50 mm happened in one hour from 9 am to 10 am. Our storm water drains are designed in a way that if it rains more than 30 mm in an hour, there will be water logging,” added Chahal.

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