Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'Why do you think the monsoon cripples Mumbai, year after year?'

Contributed by ~ Niilesh A Raje

What happens when the heaven wants to kiss the earth, it brings tears in her eyes in the form of rains with the flashes of blue and red known as lightening. What a way to describe the rains that lashes the city of Mumbai submerging large parts of the city and bringing it to a standstill.

Mumbai, the city of opportunities, the city of success stories, the city of dream and dream merchants. A city where everything is possible. Fast money, fast life and faster cars. Lately the monsoon which cripples this city has left every Mumbaikar totally despondent and dejected. The collapsing infrastructure and flooding has continued to remain as a major crisis for Mumbai city in the last three consecutive years which sniffs at the city's inability to deal with the monsoon's rage.

Mumbai's pretensions for being a global financial center is literally washed away by the heavy downpour that lashed the city this week end. It is an accepted fact today that a day's rain can disable the city's lifeline - the suburban train services gets crippled, arterial roads gets flooded, airport is being shut down and power supply getting disrupted in many part of the suburbs.

Meteorological officials say that the flooding occurs due to the rains coinciding with the high tide. The fact is our system is designed to take rainfall intensity upto 40mm. In most cases when the monsoon cripples the city it is above 60mm an hour at various places. Even after total upgradation of the storm water drain system, our system can handle only 50mm rainfall intensity as per communication from our Municipal Commissioner.

Even if the government has learnt its lesson after more than 400 lives were lost in the 26/7 deluge there is an urgent need to upgrade the existing system. This should be treated as imperative to get its act together for an enterprising city like Mumbai.

Monsoon which cripples Mumbai has only exposed the ineptness of the civic administration. End result is a blame game in which each one passes the buck and the citizen is left holding the can. The agony of the people of Mumbai is aptly summed up in one Mumbaikar's outburst: In Mumbai everything goes down the drain except water!!!

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