Rain snaps Ahmedabad-Mumbai link

SURAT/VADODARA/BHARUCH: Lakhs of commuters were stranded on railway platforms and highways on Wednesday as continuous downpour on the third day in south Gujarat forced cancellation of 18 trains and jammed all the main roads and highways.

The national highway 8, the arterial link between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, witnessed a nearly 30-km-long traffic jam near Bharuch on both ends of Sardar Bridge on Narmada.

Police teams are working to clear the traffic but it will take several hours. “The jam on NH8 near Bharuch is due to potholes on Sardar Bridge. It is taking a long time for the vehicles to cross it and that has led to the major jam,” Bharuch SP Bipin Ahire said.

Railway officials said a breach on tracks between Vadodara and Bharuch has forced the cancellation of trains going to Surat and Mumbai. “Important trains like Shatabdi Express were moved along the down track that was functional,” said an official.

With little sign of rain abating, rail and road traffic disruptions are likely to continue for some time.

Meanwhile, Surat, Vadodara and Bharuch continued to reel under rain fury on Wednesday. Situation was particularly grim in Karjan taluka of Vadodara where many people are reported to be stranded amid flood waters. The Army has been kept on stand-by to tackle any eventuality. Over 1,200 people stranded in 16 villages in Karjan, Padra and Vadodara (rural) were rescued.

Vadodara remained on the edge for the second day as Vishwamitri continued to flow above the danger mark at 28.6 feet. Authorities closed a bridge at Kalaghoda as river swelled dangerously.

Surat city was battered by 211mm in eight hours since Wednesday morning, leaving all the major areas in knee-deep waters. Five creeks in the city started overflowing due to massive influx of water due to heavy rains in the adjoining talukas, which received an average 200mm rainfall.