Heavy rain in Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad; roads flooded, commuters struggle

Heavy showers on Wednesday morning inundated vast swathes of the national capital region and brought back memories of a similar deluge last month when thousands of commuters were stuck for 12 hours in miles-long snarls.
The downpour, coupled with strong winds and lightning for more than four hours in the morning, flooded roads across southern and central Delhi with hundreds of people stranded at bus stops and Metro stations.
Office-goers had an especially tough time with packed buses, almost no autos on the road and peaking cab fares. Many complained that cab-hailing apps such as Uber charged than more than 10 times the usual fare.
RK Jenamani, director in charge of IGI Airport Meteorological Department, said 53 mm of rain was recorded in Delhi-NCR in just two hours. “It is an unusually high figure in just two hours,” said Jenamani. The season’s highest rainfall in Delhi was recorded at the Safdarjung station. The weather department said the city received 65.7mm rainfall in the morning, out of which 62.7mm was received in three hours, between 8:30am and 11:30am. Apart from the Capital, residents in Hyderabad reported heavy showers that deluged roads and caused massive jams in the central and southern parts of the city. Photos tweeted by users showed cars stuck in rising waters and massive jams.
Commuters on their way to NCR towns of Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad were stuck in snarls for hours on national highway 8 and national highway 24 as the rain showed no signs of abating. Eight city buses reported a breakdown on the roads.
“I left for office at 7 am and by the time I reached NH-24, it had started pouring heavily. The traffic is not moving at all and I have moved just a few metres since the past one hour,” said Suchitra Rautela, a resident of Indirapuram. Commuters said that smaller internal roads linking their locality to the arterial roads were also jammed. “It took me more than an hour to just get on the highway as the internal road connecting Crossing Republik to the highway has been jammed. Many people were seen coming back on the wrong side which resulted in the gridlock,” said Dr Ruchir Mishra, a resident of Crossing Republik.
In Gurgaon, traffic ground to a halt as cars piled up on both carriageways of the Delhi-Gurgaon national highway 8 and important intersections such as Hero Honda Chowk went under water, for the second time in two months.
“Heavy rains in Gurgaon, please be advised. Be patient and maintain lane discipline, we are on the job to facilitate your movements,” said a tweet by Gurgaon police at @gurgaonpolice.
Many commuters took to social networking site Twitter with pictures and videos to warn people driving towards Gurgaon.
“Avoid #Gurgaon. Stay indoors. Its mayhem on the roads -waterlogging, #traffic & heavy rains. #DelhiRains #Gurugram,” tweeted a user identified as Neha Agarwal.
Police regularly issued traffic advisories on social media for commuters across NCR, putting up lists of roads to avoid and precautions while negotiating waterlogging. “Our PCR vans and traffic personnel are monitoring the traffic issues at NH-24 and major intersections,” said Rajesh Kumar, superintendent of police (traffic), Ghaziabad. United States secretary of state John Kerry’s motorcade was also stuck in the rain while on his way to the Indian Institute of Technology campus in southern Delhi for a lecture. Journalists travelling with the US leader tweeted photos of inundated roads. Kerry’s scheduled trip to a number of religious places was cancelled due to the rain.
On July 28, heavy showers across Delhi and Gurgaon triggered miles-long snarls with cars and trucks, ambulances and school buses backed up for up to 24 hours in a hair-pulling drive home. Many were seen abandoning their cars and wading through knee-deep water.
Municipal workers distributed food packets and water to motorists stranded on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Schools were ordered shut for the week. The traffic nightmare began after a heavy downpour choked storm drains and flooded roads, triggering the monster jam.

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