Mumbai: Heavy downpour brought life to a standstill in India's financial capital, Mumbai, on Tuesday with several parts of the city left submerged in water. Mumbai has been receiving heavy rainfall since Sunday and the incessant downpour has left rail, air and road traffic out of gear, with several trains and flights getting cancelled due to inclement weather. The heavy rainfall has claimed the lives of 37 people across Maharashtra.
According to India Meterological Department (IMD), the rainfall in the 24-hour period before 8.30 am on Tuesday was the highest which the city has witnessed since July 26, 2005. A public holiday was declared by the authorities in Mumbai on Tuesday after the IMD forecast of heavy rains for the day. The authorities had also urged the people not to step outside of their homes unless there is some emergency.
A total of 21 people lost their lives after a wall collapsed in Malad on Tuesday due to overnight rains. Two persons died in Malad after they failed to come out of their car which got submerged in rainwater. One person died due to electrocution in Vile Parle and a security guard lost his life due to wall collapse in Mulund. Three people died in Kalyan due to wall collapse, while three got killed in Nashik following the collapse of a water tank.
The inclement weather led to the cancellation of the arrival of 70 domestic flights and departure of 81 flights at Mumbai's Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport. It is expected that the main runway of the Mumbai airport would remain closed for flight operations till Thursday as the airport officials will need more time to tow away a SpiceJet plane that was stuck on the runway on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued safety directions to airlines due to heavy rainfall. "Aircraft operations during monsoon season poses challenges, which of late have resulted in a number of occurrences," the DGCA said in its circular.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the BMC Disaster Management control room to review the situation. The chief minister also held discussions with government officials over issues like railway traffic and road traffic movement. The incessant rain affected the train movement quite badly as many long-distance trains of the central and western railway were either cancelled or terminated ahead of final destination due to rainfall.
Meanwhile, the opposition has slammed the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state for the loss of lives due to wall collapse in Malad and other parts of the state are happening due to lack of government's attention.
For his part, CM Fadnavis announced a high-level probe into the wall collapse. BMC additional commissioner Ashwini Joshi also echoed similar feelings and said that an inquiry will be held into the Malad wall collapse and the guilty officials will face the music. IMD has forecasted heavy rainfall in Mumbai and some other parts of Maharashtra till July 5. According to private weather portal Skymet, Mumbai is expected to receive rainfall beyond 200 mm till July 5.