Heavy rain cripples Mumbai, Maha CM reviews situation; Rahul seeks relief for flood-hit Assam

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) Heavy rain in Mumbai on Monday affected local train services and flight operations, prompting Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to review the situation while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited flood-hit Assam and sought the Centre's help for the state.

The rain mayhem led to the inundation of several low-lying areas in Mumbai, impacting vehicular movement, while all schools in the city, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts remained shut.

Both Houses of the Maharashtra legislature were adjourned as many members and officials could not reach the Vidhan Bhavan due to the downpour.

Maharashtra Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Anil Patil and NCP MLC Amol Mitkari alighted from the Howrah-Mumbai train and walked on the tracks for some distance, a video of which went viral.

Chief Minister Shinde took stock of the heavy rain situation by chairing a meeting at the Mantralaya and visiting the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) control room.

Train services on the fast line of the Central Railway's (CR) main corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai and neighbouring Thane were suspended for a few hours due to waterlogging at various places and later resumed, officials said.

The CR officials asked people to avoid travelling unless unavoidable.

Heavy rain and low visibility led to the suspension of runway operations at the Mumbai airport from 2.22 am to 3.40 am on Monday and the cancellation of 50 flights, according to sources.

A spokesperson of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking in the morning said at least 40 bus routes in the city and suburbs were either diverted or curtailed due to waterlogging.

In neighbouring Thane district, a landslide occurred on a hillock, which led to residents of four houses being evacuated, while 54 people were rescued after their houses were inundated, civic officials said.

At least 275 houses in different areas suffered damages and around 20 vehicles were swept away, the Thane district administration said in a release.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Kurla and Ghatkopar areas of Mumbai and in other parts of Maharashtra.

Incessant rain also lashed Goa for the third consecutive day, inundating several low-lying areas in the coastal state.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi visited Assam, which is grappling with floods, saying that he stands with the people of the state and is their "soldier in Parliament".

He urged the Centre to extend all possible help and support to the state immediately.

"I stand with the people of Assam, I am their soldier in Parliament, and I urge the central government to extend all possible help and support to the state expeditiously", Gandhi posted on 'X', after visiting a flood relief camp at Fulertal in Assam's Cachar district.

Gandhi said Assam Congress leaders apprised him of the situation on the ground where over 24 lakh people have been affected, 53,000 and above people displaced and more than 60 people lost their lives.

Meanwhile, at least 131 wild animals have died so far in the Kaziranga National Park while 96 others have been rescued, an official said.

The park is experiencing the worst-ever deluge in recent years with the previous large-scale devastation occurring in 2017 when over 350 wildlife died in the flood waters and in vehicle hits while migrating through animal corridors to the highlands.

In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, surface communication to several districts was disrupted by landslides triggered by rains, officials said.

In Uttarakhand, incessant rain resulted in flooding rivers in the Kumaon region, blocking hundreds of rural motorable roads and leaving several villages in Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar districts heavily waterlogged.

However, the Char Dham Yatra resumed on Monday after remaining suspended for a day given the Met Office's prediction of heavy rain following an improvement in the weather in the Garhwal region.

The Kali, Gori and Saryu rivers in Pithoragarh, which received 125.50 mm rainfall, were flowing close to the danger mark while more than 200 rural motorable roads across the state were blocked by debris from landslides, the State Emergency Operation Centre in Dehradun said.

Heavy waterlogging in the Purnagiri division of Champawat district, besides Khatima and Sitarganj in Udham Singh Nagar district, prompted police, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel.

The release of water from dams in Uttarakhand and widespread rainfall in river catchment areas caused severe flooding in several districts in the Terai region and the plains of Uttar Pradesh.

Many villages in Pilibhit, Lakhimpur, Kushinagar, Balrampur, Shravasti and Gond districts have been affected by floods due to widespread rainfall in river catchment areas and the release of dam water.

A National Disaster Response Force team is working with the help of 32 boats to take the affected people to safety, it said.

Rain in parts of Himachal Pradesh triggered landslides, prompting the authorities to close more than 70 roads, including a national highway.

Heavy rains lashed several parts of Rajasthan with Bandikui in Dausa district recording the maximum rainfall in the last 24 hours, officials said. PTI TEAM RHL

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