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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com Shishir Gupta shishir.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

VIJAYANAND GUPTA/HT

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