Thursday, July 28, 2005


As the record breaking rains have started to show some signs of abating, parts of coastal Maharashtra and Mumbai city have started to limp back to normal. After being cut off from the rest of the country for two days, Mumbai's ariport has become at least partially operational, and at least some phone lines seem to be up again. Amit Varma and Desi Pundit have good roundups of coverage of the floods here and here.

Pune city has been spared the full brunt of the rains thanks to the both the Western Ghats and the guys at the irrigation department who were able to properly manage the water levels of the many dams around the city. The biggest problem in Pune right now is the total disintegration of the roads, which we are quite used to. Even so, the water levels at many dams are at dangerously high levels, and further rains could cause problems. The situation is especially bad at the Koyna dam in Southern Maharashtra, because although the reservoir is full, water cannot be released without causing further flodding in the coastal regions.

Pune's western suburbs and the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad have not been so lucky, however. The flooding of the Pavana river has caused widespread devastation, and Pimpri-Chinchwad was cut off from Pune on Tuesday. As many as 7000 people have been rendered homeless, and are being accomodated in city schools. The newspapers today carried reports of three people having died. Therre are long power cuts, and there is a serious water shortage. The situation is now slowly returning to normal, and some transport links with Pune city have been restored.

With the Pune Mumbai rail line still unoperational, Pune has temporarily become the railhead for Mumbai. The Mumbai Pune Expressway has become partially operational, though there is still a lot of debris. Bus services from Pune to Mumbai have not resumed, although it seems that traffic in the other direction continues to flow.

There isn't a whole lot of news right now, so I guess I will put up something tomorrow.


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