Teens and babies drown in overflowing drains near rain-hit Mumbai

Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced due to the disruption.


Heavy rain lashed Mumbai and neighboring Thane and Palghar districts on Wednesday, disrupting suburban rail traffic and waterlogging in low-lying areas from where people were evacuated, while a 14-year-old girl drowned in a swollen nullah.

A four-month-old baby slipped from the hands of a woman walking on the railway track between Thakurli and Kalyan stations in Thane district and fell into a drain.

Suburban train services of the Central Railway were restored after seven hours on the Kalyan-Badlapur section in Thane district, officials said. Services on the Kalyan-Kasara route resumed after about three hours.

Services between Badlapur and Ambernath were suspended at 11.05 am due to water-logging, disrupting the movement of trains from Kalyan to Karjat. Due to “point failures” between Kalyan and Kasara, the railway authorities had to stop the services on this route around 2.40 pm.

Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced due to the disruption. As trains continued to crawl or stand on the tracks, many commuters were seen walking on rail lines to reach the nearest station.

The Ambernath-Badlapur section, which is part of the Kalyan-Karjat section, was opened for traffic around 6 pm, according to Rajneesh Kumar Goel, divisional manager of Mumbai division of the Central Railway.

The down (Karjat-bound) line was restored first, followed by the up line (CSMT-bound) about half an hour later, he said.

Mr Goyal said he had stopped the services as a precautionary measure as the water was flowing 8 inches above the track level.

Railway authorities had to cancel several suburban services due to water-logging on the tracks and technical glitches.

Passengers complained of overcrowding in the trains, due to which many of them jumped on the tracks and walked on foot to reach their desired destination or the next station. He also complained of heavy rush at the stations.

Central Railway said it has diverted some mail and express trains from Diva-Panvel-Karjat route and Daund-Manmad route, besides short-termining and canceling some trains between Mumbai and Pune.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde declared holiday for all schools in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts on Thursday (July 20) due to heavy rain warning.

In a circular issued late evening, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said schools in the city (having classes from nursery to class 12) will remain closed on Thursday.

Heavy rains also lashed Thane and Palghar districts, leading to water-logging in several areas, following which over 250 families from low-lying areas of Thane were shifted to safer places, officials said.

Palghar Collector Govind Bodke has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the district on July 20 (Thursday) in view of the warning of heavy rain. The Collector also advised the citizens not to step out of their homes unless necessary.

Thane city received 90.08 mm of rain in the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday.

Several rivers, including Ulhas (in Thane), Amba, Savitri and Patalganga (in neighboring Raigad), were in spate, he said.

A district official said a team of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) was sent to rescue some people stranded in Kalyan township as water from the swollen Ulhas river flooded some areas.

Bhiwandi city and several areas of Thane district were inundated.

District Information Officer Nandkumar Waghmare said around 200 families from Sonivali and Hendrepada in Thane’s Badlapur town were shifted to safer places following heavy rains and floods.

Around 60 families from Morya Nagar in Kalyan taluka and residents of a senior citizen’s home in Ambernath town in Thane district have also been shifted to safer places, he said.

A report from the Thane district headquarters said Amba river at Nagothane, Savitri at Mahad, Patalganga at Lohap and Ulhas river at Jambulpada have crossed the danger mark.

It said the Kundalika river at Dolwahal, Ulhas at Badlapur and Kalu at Titwala have crossed the warning level.

Besides, a few bridges over the Murbadi river in Murbad were also inundated, said an official of the district administration.

Palghar Disaster Management Cell chief Vivekanand Kadam told PTI that some areas of Vasai were inundated and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police and revenue department were carrying out rescue and relief operations.

A four-month-old baby slipped from the hands of a woman and fell into a drain between Thakurli and Kalyan stations in Thane district as local train services were disrupted due to heavy rains.

A fire brigade official said that they have received information about a child falling into a drain along the railway track in Thane district and they are launching an operation to trace the child.

In Bhiwandi city, a 14-year-old girl drowned in an overflowing nullah, while her 12-year-old brother was rescued by the people, a civic official said.

The incident took place in the afternoon when the siblings were on their way home after school, later the body of the girl was fished out from the water, the officer said.

Train services of the Konkan Railway were halted at Chiplun in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district on Wednesday afternoon as the Vashishti river crossed the danger mark due to incessant rains, an official said.

Overnight rains have caused several rivers in the Konkan region to swell and create a flood-like situation in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts, forcing authorities to shift people to safer areas in some towns and villages, officials said.

With more rain expected in coastal Maharashtra over the next few days, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar directed officials to relocate people in several parts of Ratnagiri district’s Chiplun town due to the rising level of Vashishti river.

Of the six major rivers in Raigad district, Savitri and Patalganaga are flowing above the danger mark, officials said.

Jagbudi and Vashishti rivers have become furious due to heavy rains in Ratnagiri district. In Ratnagiri district, at least 20 families were shifted to safer places. In Mirjoli Juwad village, 65 members of 19 families were evacuated, officials said.

The rains and rising water levels in rivers forced the authorities to declare a holiday for two days for schools and colleges in Khed and Chiplun tehsils of Ratnagiri district.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV Staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)