The weather forecast says heavy rainfall can be expected in Mumbai on Thursday, June 7. The normal date for the onset of the monsoon in Mumbai is June 10, but in recent years the rains have always been delayed, sometimes by as much as 10 days.
This year will be different. This can be because of excessive summer heat. Roads remain dug up, drains clogged and nallahs blocked. In fact, road repairs started as early as October (post-monsoon) last year but not yet completed.
A visit around even south Mumbai, the most well-maintained part of the metropolis, shows what a royal mess it would be once the rains set in. Important roads, like the ones along the high court, the Gateway and Kalaghoda, remain excavated.
Locals fret that water logging on the unfinished roads will add to the woes they already face because of ongoing Metro rail-related work.
“May 31 was supposed to be the deadline for finishing all road repairs. Someone needs to be made accountable for the delays.
Travelling along Kalaghoda up to Colaba is already a nightmare. One can only wonder how the situation will be once it starts raining,” said Pervez Cooper from the Clean Heritage Colaba Residents Association (CHCRA). Another Colaba resident, Subhash Motwani, said the situation shows the BMC’s lack of planning. “Roadwork that was unlikely to be completed should not have been taken up in the first place.
The situation is particularly challenging for pedestrians as at most places footpaths have been the casualty of projects.”
Moderate rainfall was recorded in the suburbs during Saturday evening’s pre-monsoon showers, with the IMD’s Santacruz observatory getting 26.5mm. The island city hasn’t yet received any rain.
Scientist Ajay Kumar from the IMD’s Colaba observatory said, “We are expecting the onset of the monsoon along the Maharashtra coast during June 6-8. For now, we have forecast pre-monsoon showers, which are usually prior to the arrival of the rains in this region owing to the confluence of warm moist air from the south and dry air from the north.”