Mumbai: Severe downpour in the past 24 hours led to overflowing of Storm Water Drains and lakes. Drains connected to the Mithi River were overflowing since Monday night leading to clogged streets at Marol and Kurla areas.
Cadets from INS Tanaji of the Indian Navy evacuated nearly 1,000 people in the early hours of Tuesday from shanties near Mithi in Kranti Nagar in Kurla. The cadets had to be summoned for rescuing rain-hit locals.
Armed with rubber boats, lifebuoys and jackets, the naval team conducted the operation at Kranti Nagar in Kurla, - one of the areas worst hit by incessant rains.
The then chief of the naval staff N.K. Verma had commissioned INS Tanaji as the Base Depot Ship of Mankhurd Naval Station on July 10, 2012.
“The rescue mission was organised after the Navy received an SOS from the BMC seeking assistance for those stranded in Kurla," the Indian Navy said.
“Teams from INS Tanaji and Material Organisation were immediately activated. Naval diving teams later joined them. The team from INS Tanaji encountered extreme waterlogging and abandoned vehicles, preventing their own vehicles from reaching the site," said Mehul Karnik, Indian Navy spokesperson.
However, the team continued to navigate the impediments on foot. In the beginning, the team was able to move elderly women and children to safer areas. Subsequently, around 1000 people were rescued and shifted to safety with the help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire brigade and local volunteers.
“By 12 am, the lanes were completely submerged and water had entered above waist level inside our homes. We had to rush out of our homes and take shelter in two BMC schools nearby,” said 56-year-old Kamal Kanojia, a resident of Kranti Nagar.
Locals stated that the water started receding only in the morning and it took two-three hours for them to throw out accumulated water from their homes. “By the time rescue team reached the spot, several people had already left their homes. Lot of our stuff has been damaged by the rain,” said 39-year-old Shivraj Adagale.
In Marol area of Andheri, citizens were left wading through knee-deep water during Monday night due to overflowing of an adjacent nullah. “Cascading effect of Mithi River was felt in Marol as the nullah leading from Marol to Mithi got overflowed,” said Godfrey Pimenta, Trustee of NGO Watchdog Foundation.
“The water started receding soon as the rain stopped. The BMC had carried out desilting before monsoon, however, it is the case of excessive more than 300 mm rain in one day which has led to such water accumulation,” said a BMC official.