Mumbai: Almost like clockwork, heavy rains over a 24 hour period in Mumbai brought the city to a standstill on Friday morning, shutting down schools, offices and public transportation.
The city woke up to incessant showers that flooded the streets, an annual affair that the city’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council – under the control of the Shiv Sena and its partner the BJP – just cannot seem to avoid despite its best efforts and claims.
The storm water drains in the city, clogged as they are, cannot handle heavy rains, especially on days with high tide. But natural causes apart, poor advance management and cleaning of the gutters in the run up to the monsoons ensure the story is repeated every year.
As the rains continued overnight and it became clear that moving about would be difficult, schools and offices declared a holiday on Friday morning. Waterlogging in many parts of the city made it impossible not just for pedestrians but also vehicles to move about. The local suburban train network, the lifeline of the city, could only function up to a point, leaving many passengers stranded.
Though the romance of the Mumbai rains is much talked about, that can only be experienced if one is indoors. For those out and about on work, the monsoon is a depressing story of traffic jams, knee deep water and all round inconvenience.
Photographs of stalled cars and flooded streets were posted on social media, warning citizens about neighbourhoods that were worst affected. The weather bureau has warned of more heavy rains through most of Saturday and the weekend.