Heavy rains disrupt flights in Mumbai

Mumbai, (IANS) Heavy rains lashed Mumbai, entire coastal Konkan region and parts of western Maharashtra affecting normal life and hitting flight operations, officials said here on Wednesday.

This comes exactly a month after the Mumbai deluge of August 19 and 20.

Flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMI) took a major hit owing to the downpour, poor visibility, strong winds since Tuesday evening.

The city’s critical lifeline, the suburban trains and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus services were also reported running with delays.

The IMD has forecast heavy and widespread rains over large parts of Maharashtra and surroundings till Saturday. It said south Mumbai could experience very heavy rains on Wednesday.

As a precautionary measure, Education Minister Vinod Tawde late on Tuesday announced closure of all schools and colleges in Mumbai metropolitan region for the day.

Flight operations were suspended for around 30 minutes on Tuesday evening, forcing diversion of four incoming flights and seven go-arounds due to poor visibility.

A SpiceJet aircraft skidded off the runway and its wheels got stuck in the soft mud, further hitting normal operations.

Efforts were underway on Wednesday to extricate and tow away the Boeing aircraft which blocked the main 9/27 runway, forcing Mumbai Airport to suspend all flight operations till 5 a.m.

However, the secondary runway which was closed due to heavy winds and low visibility could be reopened for partial operations with some flights arriving and taking off, details of which were awaited.

As per IMD figures, Mumbai suburbs received 275 mm rains and south Mumbai recorded 191 mm rainfall till 5 a.m.

Mumbai’s famed Dabbawalas also announced cancellation of their regular 200,000 tiffin box delivery services on Wednesday to avoid stranding, said their spokesperson Subhash Talekar.

Till 7 a.m. the BMC Disaster Control said the western suburbs received 245 mm rains, eastern suburbs recorded 186 mm and south Mumbai notched 126 mm.

Several low-lying areas in central Mumbai like Parel, Dadar and some areas of the suburbs like Chembur, Kurla, Andheri, Malad, Borivali, Dahisar experienced water-logging, slowing down the morning office-bound traffic, but there was no dislocation on the roads and highways.

In the Konkan region, many towns and villages experiences water-logging in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Palghar districts disrupting normal life.

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