Torrential rain paralyses metropolitan Indian cities

Torrential rains have caught metropolitan cities by surprise it seems. (Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )

Agencies New Delhi, India Jul 29, 2016, 08.56 AM (IST)
Heavy rains have lashed large parts of India, bringing major metropolitan cities to a standstill. 

Vehicular movement remains affected in various parts of the southern city of Bengaluru due to heavy downpour. In the small hamlet Bilekahalli, boats are being used after torrential rain wreaked havoc.  

Arterial roads in the national capital Delhi as well as Mumbai, metropolitan city in western state of Maharashtra, also remain choked with traffic. Massive traffic jams have been reported on Western Express Highway in Andheri, a Mumbai suburb.  

Indian cities Delhi, Gurugram, Uttarakhand and Bengaluru massively affected by heavy downpour. Heavy rainfall triggers traffic jams, power cuts and waterlogging in the cities. Source: ANI, Dr. Amit Kapoor, Bengaluru, twitter

Traffic snarls in the millenium city of Gurugram draw India's attention  

Thousands of Indians were left stranded on Thursday as major traffic gridlocks paralysed roads to a key business city near Indian capital city New Delhi and authorities struggled to get the situation under control. 

Television images showed thousands of partially submerged cars stranded in miles-long jams on a key highway and link roads connecting New Delhi with the satellite town of Gurugram, formerly known as Gurgaon.

Office-goers and locals were pictured wading through knee-deep water after heavy monsoon rains deluged streets late Thursday. 

Local authorities issued an order today asking people to avoid travelling to the area in northern Haryana state and shut schools for two days. 

Dubbed "Millennium City", Gurgaon is home to scores of top multinational companies, expensive condominiums, a world-class golf course, top hospitals and gleaming shopping malls. 

However, like many Indian cities, it lacks an efficient drainage system making it prone to flooding. 

"People coming to Gurgaon from Delhi are advised to stay back today to avoid being stuck in traffic jams due to flooding on roads," Gurgaon police posted on Twitter.  

Several commuters meanwhile took to social media to vent their anger. "Gurugram! What a nightmare. 5 hours to cover 1 km. Parked car on roadside, slept in the car and now back in office," Rajesh Mehta wrote on Twitter. 

Crumbling civic infrastructure, clogged drains and uncontrolled construction in Indian cities results in widespread flooding of roads during the rainy season. 

Indian transport minister Nitin Gadkari today talked to the National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) chairman, directing him to send team of officials to National Highway-8 (NH-8) immediately. 

The tailback on Friday extended to 15-20 kilometres at central Hero Honda Chowk in Gurugram that was inundated.  An under-construction underpass and flyover near the Chowk led to a diversion at the spot which further slowed the traffic, while the drainage system has failed 

Floods hit more than 1.2 million Indians  

The four-month-long monsoon begins in June and is vital for irrigating farmland of more than 330 million Indian farmers.  

But excess rains in many parts in east and north India have resulted in deluge, killing dozens.  

More than 1.2 million people in northeast India have been hit by floods, which have submerged hundreds of villages, inundated large swathes of farmland and damaged roads, bridges and telecommunications services, local authorities said on Tuesday. 

Incessant monsoon rains in the tea and oil-rich state of Assam have forced the burgeoning Brahmaputra river and its tributaries to burst their banks -- affecting more than half of the region's 32 districts.  

Indian interior minister Rajnath Singh will be making an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of Nagaon, Morigaon and Kaziranga in Assam tomorrow. 

He will also be visiting Bhagatgaon Camp of flood-affected residents in Morigaon district. 

Singh will hold a meeting with Assam chief minister Sarbanand Sonowal and other state government officers in state capital Guwahati before returning to Delhi in the evening.