Heavy rains disrupt life, rail links in coastal Maharashtra

July 24th, 2010 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 24 (IANS) Services of the Konkan Railway (KR), the lifeline of the west coast of India, were thrown off track while life in coastal districts of Maharashtra was hit badly following torrential rains for the past nearly one week, officials said here Saturday.
Due to unprecedented heavy rains lashing the region, a portion of the road near Nivsar station in Ratnagiri caved in, forcing the KR to cancel or divert several of its services.

While the Diva-Sawantwadi local train was run only between Diva-Ratnagiri Saturday, it would remain cancelled Sunday between Ratnagiri-Sawantwadi.

The KR cancelled the services of Mumbai CST-Madgaon Konkankanya Express and its return service, and the Madgaon-Mumbai CST Mandovi Express Saturday.

For Sunday, the KR has cancelled the Madgaon-Sawantwadi Passenger, Mumbai CST-Madgaon Janshatabdi Express and its return service; the Mumbai LTT-Mangalore Matsyagandha Express and its return service.

Sunday’s Mumbai LTT-Trivandrum Netravati Express has been diverted via the Panvel route to Mumbai.

Heavy rains lashed the entire western and coastal districts of the state for the sixth consecutive day Saturday, including Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Mumbai.

All the major rivers in the Konkan region including Savitri, Vashishth, Jagbudi, Sorad and others originating from the Western Ghats, were flowing at the danger mark, posing a threat to towns and villages downstream on the western side.

Police, civil and medical officials in all the districts were in a state of high alert to tackle any emergency situation arising out of the ongoing heavy rains and forecast of more rains in the next 72 hours.

While Rajapur town in Sindhudurg witnessed nearly three to four feet water, Dapoli, Ratnagiri, and Raigad also experienced around waterlogging, severely disrupting normal life and bringing all traffic to a standstill.

Heavy rains have been notched even in the Western Ghats, especially the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani in Satara district, Pune, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar and surrounding regions.

Though Mumbai’s suburban railway networks on the Western, Central and Harbour lines did not experience any breakdown, they were running between 15-20 minutes late.

Huge traffic snarls were witnessed on the Mumbai-Amedabad Highway, on the Western Express and Eastern Express highways criss-crossing the city during the day.

The picturesque Konkan region - dotted with pristine beaches, sea and hill forts, hill-stations and nature parks - comprises the coastal districts of Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, besides Mumbai.

They account for an average of around 3,600 mm rainfall during monsoon each year, making it one of the wettest regions in Maharashtra. So far, the region has received nearly 65 percent of its annual rainfall.

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