Gurgaon to Bangalore, Uddhav-Jaidev will dispute: Raj steps in as the mediator metros drown in rain
INEPT Monsoon brings India’s urban centres to their knees as authorities watch
Tens of thousands of people were left stranded for hours on Friday as heavy rainfall deluged three major Indian cities, triggering miles-long traffic snarls, frantic rescue operations and niggling questions about poor planning and compromised civic infrastructure.
The worst-hit was Delhi’s satellite town of Gurgaon, where thousands of cars were partially submerged and numerous stationary trucks clogged the arterial National Highway 8 from Delhi to Jaipur till the afternoon with most other roads waterlogged.
The nightmare began on Thursday after a heavy evening downpour left commuters stranded — many without fuel and water — on their way back home from Gurgaon till well past midnight. Many were seen abandoning their cars and wading through kneedeep water. The crisis forced the local police to ask Delhi residents to skip office as the state government announced a two-day holiday for schools.
In Mumbai, heavy showers killed a 45-year-old man after a tree collapsed on his car as many parts of the city witnessed waterlogging and huge puddles, slowing down traffic to a trickle.
The frenzied scenes were mirrored down south in Bangalore, where rainfall over the past three days inundated most of the city as lakes breached their banks and people were seen fishing in the swirling waters. Schoolchildren walk through a waterlogged street at Sion on Friday.
In a move that has prompted speculation about the possibilities of their politics, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray drove down for an hour-long meeting with estranged cousin and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav at the latter’s residence on Friday.
Raj, accompanied by party leader Bala Nandgaonkar, reached Matoshree, Bandra, around 11am and left post noon.
The meeting, sources from both sides insist, was for personal reasons — the turmoil in the family caused by the legal battle being fought by Uddhav’s elder brother Jaidev over the inheritance of father Bal Thackeray’s assets. Jaidev’s statement that his Smita Thackeray’s son Aishwarya isn’t his — has caused deep anguish in the family MNS chief Raj Thackeray (left) visits his cousin and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav at Matoshree in Bandra on Friday. and promises to cause further embarrassment as the legal battle progresses in the Bombay high court, where Jaidev has challenged the late Sena chief ’s will, claiming Uddhav influenced it.
US President Barack Obama will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit at Hangzhou, China, on September 4-5 for bilateral discussions on several issues, including terrorism and expansion of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
South Block sources said the two leaders are also likely to discuss economic and defence relations besides the agenda before the multilateral forum.
The bilateral meeting was finalised after the two-day visit of the US deputy national
security advisor Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo to New Delhi, where he met finance minister
Arun Jaitley and power minister Piyush Goyal besides senior officials at the Prime Minister’s Office and external affairs ministry.