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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August 2005, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Mumbai struggles back to normal
Mumbai residents in floods
Mumbai residents line up to fill their cooking gas cylinders
The flood-hit Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has returned to near normality for the first time in 10 days that have seen record rainfall.

Schools and offices are functioning normally, while air and rail services have resumed.

But outside Mumbai, at least 60,000 villagers are still living in temporary camps because their homes are flooded.

The number of people killed in the rains is close to 1,000.

More than 20m people have been affected in Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra, of which it is capital.

Estimates of the losses vary from 30bn ($690m) rupees up to 150bn.

As of now the city on the whole is normal
Johny Joseph
Mumbai municipal commissioner

Thousands of commuters began pouring out of rail stations in Mumbai on Wednesday as schools, colleges and offices opened for the first time since the weekend.

But Mumbai municipal commissioner Johny Joseph said city authorities were not taking any chance.

"Some 147 medical teams are working round-the-clock to prevent any outbreak of diseases," he told the AFP news agency.

"More than 300 trucks and bulldozers are also on the roads to clear 15,000 tonnes of garbage being thrown into the streets by the residents every day - which is three times what we normally see."

Villagers evacuated

But the situation continues to remain grave in other parts of Maharashtra, with train services suspended and road links disrupted.

Monsoon in Mumbai

Rescue workers are still trying to recover bodies from flooded areas of Raigad district, 150km (95 miles) south of Mumbai.

The district's senior administrator, Sanjay Yadav, said that more than 20 villages had been evacuated due to fears of fresh landslides.

About 200 medical teams have left Mumbai for affected towns and villages elsewhere in Maharashtra state.

Aid organisations have expressed concern about the situation in outlying areas.

P Unnikrishnan of Action Aid International said: "In some places there is not enough to eat. There is a shortage of chlorine tablets.

"It is time for a reality check. The media portray Mumbai's economic might and think receding waters are good. The ground situation is entirely different. Relief materials are only reaching isolated places."

Thousands of people have complained about the way the authorities have handled the floods.

But Maharashtra chief secretary, Prem Kumar, said no-one could have anticipated the level of rainfall.

He said government evacuations had saved thousands of lives.

Last Tuesday Mumbai received more than 65cm (26in) of rain - the heaviest recorded in India's history, causing havoc in a city known for its inadequate infrastructure.

About half of those killed in Maharashtra have died in Mumbai - drowned, electrocuted or buried in landslides.

Despite the flooding, the 30-share benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange hit a record high on Tuesday.

Watch footage of the Indian floods

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