Monday, November 29, 1999

Heavy rains lash Mumbai, cripple all traffic

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Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) Heavy rains Wednesday threw life out of gear in Mumbai, inundating several areas and seriously affecting rail, road and air traffic. Forty six people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the state in the last few days, officials said.Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal Wednesday announced compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the kin of all those who died in rain-related incidents.These would also include the kin of the eight victims who were crushed to death while sleeping when a wall collapsed in Dyaneshwar Nagar area in Thane, an official said.'The state has seen 46 rain-related deaths in the past few days. The state government has decided to compensate the kin of all the victims,' Bhujbal told reporters.He mentioned that Maharashtra has received an average of 207 mm rainfall in the last three days and there is a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state for the next three days.Heavy to very heavy rains in the first two days of the monsoon led to water-logging and flooding in several parts of the city and its adjoining areas, striking hollow the claims of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that it was fully prepared for the monsoon.Road and rail traffic returned to normalcy by late evening. Trains that were plying behind schedule by 10-30 minutes were restored to regular operations.'Earlier today, local train services on the western line were halted for 45 minutes after a tree fell on the tracks between Dadar and Matunga stations. They have, however, been restored,' an official said.'Trains services on all lines have been restored and are normal,' added the official.Air traffic was also hit, with most flights delayed by 45 minutes to one hour.'Heavy rains, strong winds of between 15-20 knots and fluctuating visibility have impacted operations,' an airport official said.Three flights - Spice Jet's SG 131 (Delhi-Mumbai), Indian Airlines IC 971 (Chennai- Mumbai) and Go Air's G8 229 (Delhi-Mumbai) - were diverted to Ahmedabad in Gujarat by the Air Traffic Control (ATC).'Cross runway (No.1432) is not being used by the ATC due to strong winds. The main runway (0927) is operational,' another official said.Residents of Bhayander township of Thane district are still struggling with severe water-logging, complaining of gross negligence by authorities of Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation.A man identified as Ratilal Gada was crushed to death in the eastern suburb of Mulund when a portion of an under-construction building caved in on him.Yet another case of landslide was also reported in Chembur - a eastern suburb of Mumbai. No casualties have been reported in the incident.Another building collapsed in Andheri Wednesday, but no casualties have been reported so far.

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