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Search launched: Two buses with 22 persons missing in Maharashtra

Two buses with about 22 passengers were washed away early on Wednesday in flood waters after a bridge collapse on the Mumbai-Goa Highway

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Mumbai-Goa highway bridge collapse: Two buses with 22 persons missing. Image source: www.ibtimes.co.in
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Two buses with about 22 passengers were washed away early on Wednesday, August 3, in flood waters after a bridge collapse on the Mumbai-GoaHighway, an official said.

The state government, National Disaster Response Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) launched a massive air and sea operation to trace the two MaharashtraState Road Transport Corporation buses and other five to six missing vehicles which were feared to have been washed away by the floods in the Arabian Sea in the coastal Konkan region.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, ministers and Raigad collector Sheetal Ugale were monitoring the situation, the official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Fadnavis and offered help in the rescue operations.

The ICG deployed a Chetak and SeaKing helicopters to search the buses. An NDRF team was on the way from Pune while the police and naval divers have launched a sea search.

Of the two ill-fated buses, the Jaigad-Mumbaiservice was driven by S. S. Kamble and conducted by V. K. Desai while the Rajapur-Borivali (north Mumbai) service was driven by E. S. Munde and conducted by P. B. Shirke, all based with the Chiplun Bus Depot in Ratnagiri.

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The tragedy struck after heavy rains flooded the Savitri River which originates in Mahabaleshwar and flows through Ratnagiri-Raigad districts, leading to the collapse of a seven-decades-old British era bridge near Mahad around 1 a.m.

Image by thehindu.com
Image by thehindu.com

The buses with 11 passengers each went missing and there was no contact with either their drivers or the passengers, Raigad Collector Sheetal Ugale said.

Locals said that around five to six private vehicles were also missing and they were feared to be washed away in the floods.

“The bridge was built during the British era. After discussion with the National Highways Authority, we have shifted traffic to the new parallel bridge nearby. We are trying to confirm reports of other missing vehicles,” Ugale said.

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Rehabilitation Minister Chandrakant Patil said helicopters would be deployed and the help of defence forces was being taken to search the missing vehicles.

Incessant rains continue to lash the coastal Konkan, northern and western Maharashtra since past five days, with at least 10 persons losing their lives in rain-related incidents in the past 24 hours. (IANS)

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)