Citizens' Issues
Rains paralyse life in Mumbai; road, rail traffic affected

Mumbai suburban trains, the city's life line, was worst-hit due to water logging on tracks, delaying local rail services by more than an hour on some routes

Heavy rains lashed Mumbai on Wednesday, severely disrupting road, rail and suburban train services, and inconveniencing lakhs of commuters and office-goers.


According to a senior official from Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), there were traffic jams due to water logging in suburban Dadar, Parel, Chembur and on LBS Marg in Ghatkopar. The Andheri subway has been closed down completely due to water logging.


Traffic came to a halt on the Western Express Highway and on roads leading to the domestic airport from Kherwadi junction.


Mumbai suburban trains, the city's life line. was worst-hit due to water logging on tracks, delaying local services by more than an hour on some routes.


"There a few locations on the Central Railway like Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Bhandup where water has flooded the tracks and hence the main line is running late by about 20-25 minutes," a railway official said.


There is severe water logging on the Harbour line at stations like Kurla and Tilaknagar, which has resulted in the delay of train services by more than a hour, he said.


Several commuters were stranded for hours due to the rail traffic halt between Kurla and Chunabhatti stations, another official said.


However, train services on the Western line were running with a "small delay" on the Virar-Churchgate route.


"We are continuously monitoring the situation of water logging and trying our best to resolve the problem at the earliest. Since these are non-peak hours, the damage caused is comparatively less," the official added.


Flights from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport were running behind by half an hour. Seven flights had been diverted due to heavy rains.


Meteorological Department officials predict the showers could continue for the next 48 hours, after which the rainfall may slacken.


"So far we had a weak spell of rains in Mumbai. A low pressure has now formed over the Bay of Bengal which has caused rainfall in the city. We expect the rainfall to last with the same intensity for the next 48 hours and after that it may reduce," VK Rajeev, Director of Weather forecasting, Mumbai Meteorological department said.


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Sunanda Pushkar death: Govt seeks report from AIMMS

Dr Gupta, who was heading the panel that conducted Sunanda’s post-mortem, has reportedly alleged that he was pressurised to show that her death was natural.

The Indian government on Wednesday sought a detailed report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the reported allegation by a senior forensic doctor, that he was pressurised to manipulate the report of the autopsy of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.


“After I became the Health Minister, Dr Sudhir Gupta of AIIMS had written to our department regarding his promotion. But after TV channels reported that he has made a specific allegation, I have written to the AIIMS Director seeking a detailed information in this regard,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.


The allegation by Dr Gupta, who heads the Forensic Science department of AIIMS, has added a new twist to the mystery surrounding the death of 52-year-old Sunanda Pushkar.


Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of 17th January, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor.


Dr Gupta refused to comment on his reported allegation, saying he has already stated the facts before the “competent” authorities.


“I don’t want to comment on this issue. It is a legal matter, a serious issue, I cannot share with the media. I am a government servant. Whatever I wanted to say, I have said at a competent place,” he said.


Dr Gupta, who was heading the panel that conducted Sunanda’s post-mortem, has reportedly alleged he was pressurised to show that her death was natural, which he claims he resisted.


The autopsy report had mentioned more than a dozen injury marks on both of Sunanda Pushkar’s hands and an abrasion on her cheek which suggested a “use of blunt force”, besides a “deep teeth bite” on the edge of her left palm. Viscera samples were preserved after the autopsy at AIIMS and were sent to CFSL for further tests.


The CFSL report hinted at drug poisoning but its findings were not conclusive enough to file an FIR in the case, according to the police.


The search and seizure memorandum of the police, which is a part of the report, mentioned finding a mix of two drugs — Alprazolam and Excedrin. Excedrin is a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine while Alprazolam is an anxiolytic.


The probe into the case was handed over to the Crime Branch on 23rd January. However, the case was transferred back to the South District police two days later on 25th January.


Inquest proceedings under Section 174 CrPC were initiated in the Sunanda Pushkar case according to which a sub-divisional magistrate inquires into the death of a woman if she dies within seven years of her marriage.


In a report to the police, the SDM, who had recorded the statements of the victim's brother, son, Shashi Tharoor and his staff, had said that no family member suspected any foul play in the death.


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