News Flash – 29 June 2019

National News



First Flush of Monsoon slows Mumbai in its Tracks


Mumbai: Friday’s heavy showers caused waterlogging in the city’s chronic flooding spots, including Hindmata, King Circle, S V Road in Bandra and Khar, Wadala and Sewri, raising questions about BMC’s monsoon-preparedness. But there was a silver lining: Rainwater receded much faster compared to the previous years. For instance, in the morning, traffic movement was hampered at Dadar’s Hindmata Junction—a saucer-shaped, low-lying flood prone area where the BMC had taken up partial augmentation of storm water drains as part of its pre-monsoon works. The BMC immediately pressed Britannia pumping station into service and rainwater was flushed out. “While waterlogging did occur, we ensured that rainwater was drained out as quickly as possible so that motorists would not be inconvenienced,” said a civic official. In the eastern suburbs, there was waterlogging in several areas in King Circle, Wadala, Sion and on LBS Marg in Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Mulund; while in the western suburbs, parts of SV Road in Khar and Bandra were submerged. King Circle activist Nikhil Desai said even Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg in Wadala, though not a low-lying area, was inundated.



“It was surprising that the area got waterlogged even though there was no high tide on Friday,” he said. Sion resident G R Vora said waterlogging in King Circle’s Gandhi Market area resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the arterial B A Road. “In the afternoon, the jam caused a backlog stretching up to Chembur. But once the rain subsided, the situation improved,” he said. “There was waterlogging near Shanmukhananda Hall in Sion too.” While activist Anil Galgali observed that rainwater drained out faster, Khar resident Zoru Bhathena complained that the ‘problem areas’ on SV Road have not been fixed properly owing to which year after year, these stretches get inundated on a heavy rain day. Bhandup resident Sandeep Joshi complained that residents of Village Road and Datta Mandir Road, near LBS Marg, face waterlogging every monsoon. Since it is a low-lying area, the BMC uses pumps, but it is not the solution. There is need to clear and widen nullahs.



Heavy Rain Warning for Central, South Gujarat


Ahmedabad: On Friday, the southwest monsoon had covered half of Gujarat, extending from Dwarka to Ahmedabad, and several places in the state received heavy rainfall. The forecast for Saturday by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) states that heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at several places in central and south Gujarat. According to the IMD, till June 28 the state had got just 66% of the rainfall compared to a normal monsoon, recording a 33% deficit. Met officials hope that the coming days will see the deficit reduced. Jayanta Sarkar, regional director of the IMD, said that the southwest monsoon has advanced further over Gujarat. “The monsoon has covered most of Saurashtra, south and central Gujarat as on Friday. We issued heavy to very heavy rainfall warnings for Friday and Saturday.



While parts of Bharuch, Surat and Panchmahal received heavy rainfall, Saturday could bring rain in the districts of Valsad, Navsari, Dangs, Surat, Anand, Kheda, Chhota Udepur, Panchmahal, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and the Union Territories of Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli,” Sarkar said. Sarkar added that the rainfall has been precipitated by a cyclonic circulation over southern Madhya Pradesh and a trough formed over the Gujarat region. Coastal Saurashtra, including Gir Somnath and Amreli districts, is also expected to get rain, he added. According to the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), on Friday till 6pm, Karjan in Vadodara district had received the most rainfall, 102mm, followed by Dholera in Ahmedabad district (68mm), Vapi in Valsad district (50mm) and Dhandhuka in Ahmedabad district (32mm).



Girl Electrocuted by wet DGVCL Pole

A CCTV video grab of the incident.



Surat: Like every day, the Chavda family was waiting for Kajal to come home for lunch on Friday. But little did they know that their 20-year-old daughter will never return home again. The young woman’s hand accidentally touched an electric pole near her house near Kargil Chowk and she died on the spot. Kajal was walking towards her house in Puna’s Prabhu Darshan society in the afternoon, skirting puddles created morning rain. She accidentally touched the ill-maintained light pole on the roadside. While shocked passers-by were left screaming for help, Kajal slowly fell down on the ground, her hand stuck to the pole. The father and passers-by rushed her to SMIMER hospital, but the doctors there declared her dead on admission. Kajal supported her family by working in a zari unit in Narved Sagar Society at Kargil Chowk. The wet single street light pole there was an open invitation to disaster, waiting to ensnare scores of innocent people passing by it throughout the day.



Irate locals gathered on the spot in hundreds and started demanding strict action against responsible officers of Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited’s (DGVCL). Even elected representatives reached the spot and nobody allowed the DGVCL or even the police to carry out any work for hours. “We are in process of registering complaint against the power company and will investigate the case to a conclusion,” an official from Puna police said, adding that they are registering offence under IPC 304 for criminal negligence leading to death against DGVCL and whosoever is found guilty during investigation. Superintendent engineer of DGVCL, GB Patel said, “It is a simple low-tension line that supplies power to the single streetlight meter. We reached there within an hour, to find out how the incident occurred. But people did not allow us to investigate. They demanded immediate underground cabling before lodging a police complaint”. He further said the discom’s authorities will go there again to find the actual cause and take action against the guilty.

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