Heavy rains cripple normal life in Mumbai

Heavy rains lashed India’s financial and commercial capital on Monday, submerging low-lying areas, crippling traffic and leading to massive delays in the movement of trains along Mumbai’s lifeline, the suburban railway corridors.


Nithin Belle

Published: Wed 29 Aug 2012, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:58 AM

Mumbai residents woke up to overcast skies on Monday morning. Heavy rains lashed the metropolis for much of the day, following a revival of the south-west monsoons towards the end of the rainy season.

However, despite the heavy rains, Mumbai’s water shortage is unlikely to be met this year as the overall deficiency has been quite high. In a normal year, Mumbai receives about 2,200 mm of rainfall during the four months of the monsoon season (June to September).

Mumbai is part of the Konkan and Goa division, one of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions in India. The sub-division gets about 2,800 mm of rainfall every year, the second-highest in the country after coastal Karnataka (nearly 3,200 mm). This year though, the Konkan and Goa sub-division has received just about 2,000 mm of rainfall, a deficit of 16 per cent. Rainfall in the first three months has been below their long-term average and September too is unlikely to meet the shortfall.

Every monsoon, normal life in Mumbai gets affected at least three to four times during the season following heavy showers. This year though, rainfall has never exceeded 100 mm on any given day. Mumbai’s railway lines have also not been submerged under water, nor have traditionally low-lying areas seen any water-logging.

While this has brought relief to millions of residents, it has not been because of any super-efficient functioning by the city authorities. Lack of rainfall, especially the torrential rains that can go on for a few days, has marked the 2012 monsoon season.

On Monday, though rainfall was around 60 mm during a 12-hour period, low-lying areas in central Mumbai and the western and eastern suburbs were under knee-deep waters. The Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) operated several pumps to drain the areas of rainwater.


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