Rain catches motorists by surprise, brings traffic in MMR to standstill | Mumbai news

A sudden downpour in Mumbai and surrounding districts on Friday caught citizens unawares with waterlogged roads giving motorists a harrowing time.

Data from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology’s Mesonet system shows several locations in south Mumbai and the northern suburbs received between 40mm and 70mm rain in the six hours ending 6pm. Dombivali in Thane district recorded the highest at over 100mm.

The Andheri market was inundated and the traffic police had to close the subway for more than an hour. A diversion was made through Gokhale bridge due to which traffic on SV Road and the Western Express Highway slowed down, leading to snarls across the city. The estimated travel time between Colaba and Borivali, as per Google Maps, was a little over two hours at 6.30pm.

The city has been placed under a yellow category weather warning for Saturday, indicating chances of isolated heavy rain.

Waterlogging was also reported in Kalyan-Dombivli though traffic movement was largely unaffected as the rain stopped in the evening. Dombivli (East) railway station, Gandhi Nagar, Milapnagar, Ambikanagar, Star Colony, Ramnagar, Ayregaon and Bhopar were particularly badly hit.

“There was a good gap of one week to prepare the city for water stagnation caused by overflowing drains, but it seems the civic body did not do anything about it. When it started to rain, there was waterlogging,” 38-year-old Manish Shirke, a commuter, said.

An official from the disaster management department, Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation, said, “Whenever a complaint of waterlogging was raised our team rushed to the spot. Any drainage overflow leading to water stagnation was also attended to. By evening, most areas were cleared and the rain had also receded.”

The India Meteorological Department’s regional forecasting centre in Mumbai attributed the showers to a number of synoptic developments, including an upper air cyclonic circulation which originated in the Bay of Bengal earlier this week, making its way north-westward and reaching north Konkan on Friday. “This has activated a weak offshore monsoon trough which is lingering off the coast of Mumbai, and wind patterns are favourable to transport and dump the moisture over the MMR [Mumbai Metropolitan Region],” an official said.

There is also a cyclonic circulation over Telangana and parts of Vidarbha in close proximity of a monsoon trough that is running from Andhra Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh, and another circulation over the Bay of Bengal which will influence monsoon showers over peninsular India, which is yet to see signs of a proper monsoon withdrawal. A second cyclonic circulation is expected to make its way toward Mumbai from the Bay of Bengal between October 10 and14, which will lead to another surge in rain as withdrawal of the monsoon over the Konkan is not expected before October 15, IMD officials said.

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