In the latest update, all passengers stranded on board Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express have been rescued. The long-distance train was held up between Vangani and Badlapur, which is 100 kilometres away from Mumbai, since 3 am on Saturday after torrential rains, according to a passenger on board.
Speaking to ANI, Chief Public Relations Officer of Central Railways Sunil Udasi said that all the passengers have been rescued safely by the combined effort of NDRF, local authorities, and Indian Navy’s flood relief unit. Railway Protection Force and city police were the first respondents to the situation, who reportedly reached the site with 30 minutes of the hold up being reported. While the preparations for rescue operations were underway, the police and RPF personnel distributed biscuits and water to the stranded passengers.
Central Railway’s senior spokesperson AK Jain said the NDRF teams lead the rescue operation and the passengers have been successfully brought to the Badlapur station.
“We have planned a special relief train to send the passengers to their destination. Food packets have been delivered to the passengers by the local police and the Railway Protection Force (RPF),” he added.
NDRF deployed eight boats to rescue the passengers, while eight flood rescue teams from the Indian Navy, including three diving teams had also been mobilised with rescue material, inflatable boats and life jackets to help control the situation. A Sea King helicopter of the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force choppers were also pressed into service. However, the air support had to be withdrawn due to poor flying conditions due to rough weather.
Heavy rains lashed Mumbai, leading to traffic snarls and water-logging at several major junctions. Vehicles were seen wading through the waterlogged streets of Sion, Chembur, Gandhi Market at snail’s pace due to heavy traffic jam in the morning.
On the last check, SV Road, Hill and Linking Roads in Bandra, Juhu Tara Road and New Link Road were some of the major arterial roads where heavy traffic was reported.
Air traffic was also disrupted for a couple of hours in Mumbai, as seven flights were cancelled and around eight to nine were diverted. Around 8:15 am, Mumbai International Airport PRO had announced that flight operations returned to normal.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai will continue to receive heavy rains till 29 July with the minimum and maximum temperatures hovering around 24 degree Celsius and 30 degree Celsius, respectively.