Two persons died in rain-related incidents, while more than 500 people were evacuated from low-lying areas as Maharashtra’s Pune district reeled after unprecedented downpour overnight and on Tuesday morning, officials said.
The Shivajinagar area recorded 104 mm rainfall in about five hours till 3 am on Tuesday, Magarpatta 116 mm and the Pashan locality 94 mm rainfall during the same period, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
As per the IMD, in the last 12 years, this was the fifth instance when Pune city, an education and IT hub, has received more than 100 mm rainfall in a 24-hour period in the month of October.
In 2010, 181 mm rainfall was recorded in Pune on October 5, followed by 105.1 mm on October 12, 2011, 101.3 mm on October 14, 2017 and 112 mm on October 15, 2020, according to IMD data.
So far in October this year, Pune has recorded 268 mm rainfall, the third highest for the month since 1892. In October 1892, the city had recorded 440.7 mm rainfall, while in 2020 the overall figure for the month was 312 mm, the data showed.
Waterlogging was witnessed in many areas of the city, including Hadapsar, Market Yard, Sinhagad Road, NIBM Road, B T Kawade Road, Katraj, Deccan, Karve Nagar, Kothrud and Kondhwa.
The district administration said two people died due to rain-related incidents, while more than 500 people (118 families) were evacuated and taken to safety amid heavy showers.
“While one Dhananjay Shirwale (24) was found dead near a bridge on the Nira river in Bhor tehsil on Tuesday, another person, Ajay Shinde, (40) drowned in Purandar tehsil. A total of 19 cattle died and 85 ‘kutcha’ houses were damaged in different parts of the district,” said the administration.
Also, crops spread across 251 hectares of land were damaged in the downpour, it said.
Some people staying in low-lying areas and near banks of the the Karha river were shifted to safer places, district authorities said.
Seven goats were swept away in floodwaters in the Kanhur Mesai area of Shirur tehsil of the western Maharashtra district, they said.
IMD’s weather forecasting department head Anupam Kashyapi said the satellite images revealed, “There was enough moisture in the state.” The Met office has issued a ‘yellow’ alert for October 19, indicating thunderstorm, lightning and light to moderate rains.
Speaking about heavy showers on late Monday night and subsequent waterlogging in various parts of the city, Vikram Kumar, Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation, said this year’s rainfall in the month of October has been unprecedented.
A few days ago too the city had received heavy showers.
“Yesterday, in a couple of hours, 105 mm rainfall was recorded. Rainfall of 65 mm (in a few hours) is considered heavy rainfall. However, yesterday almost double that rainfall was witnessed in the city,” he said.
He said the PMC’s stormwater system has been designed to handle 65 mm of rainfall, but on late Monday night and in early hours of Tuesday, 105 mm of showers was received which led to waterlogging and inundation of roads.
“When such a rain activity takes place, a lot of mud, soil and plastic go into stormwater lines which leads to obstruction in water flow. Our teams were on the ground to remove all these hurdles yesterday,” said the senior bureaucrat.
Asked if there was a need to revamp stormwater lines in the city, the civic commissioner said the drainage system was designed after taking into consideration average rainfall of the last 100 years.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over waterlogging in the city.
Mr Pawar, an MLA from Pune district, said the BJP has left the IT and education hub in a “mess” in the name of making it a “smart” city.
The BJP was in power in the Pune civic corporation for five years till the tenure of the elected body ended earlier this year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)