16 dead; Rescue operations on in flood affected areas

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Mumbai, Aug 12 (UNI) Sixteen people lost their lives in the incessant rains, lashing parts of Maharashtra, including the metropolis, since the last three days, disrupting rail and road traffic even as the state government launched rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas.

According to official estimates, Kolhapur, Nasik, Raigad, Sangli and Pune besides the Metropolis were the worst affected areas in the rains and normal life was affected.

Four members of a family, including two children, drowned in Powai lake here last night and two others were electrocuted in the heavy downpour.

Five deaths were reported from Raigad, two each from Konkan and Pimpri, near Pune, and one from Trimbekshwar, near Nasik, official sources said tonight.

Around 200 goats, several hens and cows were washed away in the rains.

Authorities started rescue and relief operations in the state, which includes draining out rain water and helping the affected villagers with food packets.

Meanwhile, the traffic on the Mumbai-Pune express highway, which was affected very badly due to incessant rains, was back to near-normal today, according to officials from the traffic department.

Vehicular traffic on more than 40 routes all over the state had resumed but it was still moving slowly on the ghats and in hilly areas of Konkan and Kolhapur regions.

Central railway officials said train services between Mumbai-Pune, which were cancelled for last two days, resumed after a slight respite from the rains today. Indrayani Express, Sinhgad Express, Deccan Express, Pragati, Intercity and Deccan Queen were plying normally, the authorities said.

Meanwhile, standing committee chairman of the BMC Ravindra Waikar and the Hydraulic Engineer today distributed sweets to all officials as most of the lakes supplying water to Mumbai had reached the overflow mark and the level of the remaining lakes is increasing rapidly, ending the water woes of the citizens of the city.

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