Rains unleash chaos in Delhi, nightmare on swamped roads | Pics

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 20 July 2013, 11:41 PM

The season's heaviest rains on Saturday brought the national capital to a grinding halt with roads across the city submerged, leading to massive traffic snarls that left commuters stranded for hours and exposing civic bodies' lack of preparedness to check waterlogging.

Two metro stations -- Saket and Malvya Nagar -- were closed for nearly five hours as rain water entered their concourse.

The Met office said the city received a total of 123 mm of rain between 11:30 AM and 5.30 PM. It was the maximum one day rainfall of the season and perhaps one of the heaviest spells in a decade.

Massive water-logging was reported across the city including at IGI airport. In some areas, rainwater flooded the basements of flats.

The showers uprooted trees in many areas while vehicles broke down on many roads resulting in total chaos on roads for several hours.

The heavy downpour started at around 12 noon and within an hour, all arterial roads were swamped by the deluge due to choked drains while traffic signals did not function properly.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic was witnessed at major intersections such as ITO, Laxmi Nagar, Moti Bagh, Kashmere Gate, Munirka, Dwarka and Dhaula Kuan, Sarai Kale Khan, Rajghat, Kalindi Kunj, Barapulla, Moolchand, AIIMS, Vasant Kunj, Karkarduma among others.

The heavy downpour pulled down mercury, with maximum temperature settling at 31.1 degree Celsius which was three degree below normal for this season of the year. Minimum temperature was recorded at 23 degree Celsius.

The rains also flooded the forecourt of the arrival area of IGI airport, causing inconvenience to the passengers coming out of Terminal 3.

There was, however, no disruptions in other airport operations, as there was water logging only at the arrival area of the airport, officials said.

Flight operations at the airport largely remained unaffected. A Malaysian Airline flight arriving here from Kuala Lumpur was diverted to Ahmedabad. As the rains reduced visibility at the runway, four flights arriving here were asked to take a go-around.

A spokesperson from Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates and manages the airport, said that despite heavy rains at the airport, all passenger facilities remain completely unaffected including the baggage belts.

"All flight operations are fully normal at the moment except one flight which was diverted and four flights had to go around for a few minutes," he said.

A DMRC official said Malviya Nagar and Saket metro stations had to be closed after rain water entered their concourse area.

"Malviya Nagar metro station was closed at 2:00 PM and opened at 6:40 PM while Saket metro station was closed at 6:15 PM and it has not been opened yet," the DMRC spokesperson said.

Sources said rain water also entered the IGI airport station of the Airport Express Metro.

Trees in some parts of the city were uprooted in the heavy rainfall, causing disruption road traffic and power supply in some areas.

"It took me 40 minutes to reach the Akshardham metro station from my home, a distance which I cover within five minutes every day. Traffic was moving very slow," said Ridhi Chouhan, who works at a private bank in Noida.

People were stuck at metro stations and bus stops waiting for the showers to subside while autorickshaw and taxi drivers had a field day charging hefty sums from those in a hurry to reach office.

"I had to shell out Rs 180 (for an auto) from my home in Munirka to my office at Connaught Place today. On normal days, the fare is not more than Rs 100," said Ashok Ojha, who works at a telecom company.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation said it received as many as 23 reports of water-logging in the past 24 hours.

Shakarpur, East Patel Nagar, Pitampura and Shalimar Bagh were among the areas worst affected.

There were also three cases of building collapse in NDMC, with a part of the roof of Fun Cinemas in Moti Nagar coming down. There were no immediate reports of any injuries to people due to these incidents.

Areas in Dilshad garden, Yamuna Vihar, Mayur Vihar, Azad Nagar all faced problems due to accumulation of water while at least seven places saw fallen trees disrupt traffic movement.

The weatherman has predicted a generally cloudy sky with possibility of light rains or thundershowers in some areas on Sunday.

First Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013 01:20 PM
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