Heavy rains batter Maharashtra hill stations

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Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) After Mumbai and coastal districts, some of the most popular hill stations of Maharashtra were battered by heavy rains with Mahabaleshwar leading the list, according to the IMD here on Monday.

Mahabaleshwar was pounded by a staggering 300 mm, followed by Lonavala-Khandala twin hill stations in Pune which recorded 290 mm.

Next on the list was the state’s tiniest hillstion, Matheran in Raigad which notched 260 mm, Igatpuri in Nashik recording 220 mm, and Palghar’s prime resorts like Talasari, Mokhada and Jawhar getting 230mm, 200mm and 190 mm respectively.

Usually, July-September are peak monsoon tourism seasons for these hillsations where thousands of tourists from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur and other parts of India flock to enjoy the rainy and cloudy weather on the hilltops and valleys.

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Besides being the source for many of the big and small perennial rivers in the states, these hills are the hot favourites of honeymooners, hikers and trekkers, who throng there all round the year with monsoon being a top favourite season.

Mumbai and coastal districts like Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg continued to experience intermittent rains on Monday, but there was no dislocation of any essential road-rail services.

However, massive traffic jams were witnessed in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and other places in the morning and evening peak hours with vehicles crawling in view of the potholes that dot the main roads and even the highways.

Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam has launched an agitation last week against potholes with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists also protesting in different parts on Monday since bad roads have claimed at least seven lives last week in the state.

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Meanwhile, the situation in Palghar and parts of Thane, which were thrashed by heavy rains for most part of last week, has almost normalized.

The IMD has foreast more rains punctuated by very heavy spells in Mumbai over the next two days with temperatures ranging at a pleasant 24-29 degrees Celsius.

–IANS

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