On Tuesday, Mumbai recorded the highest level of rainfall since the 2005 floods, causing water logging, flooding, and endless traffic jams across the city. As students and office-goers scrambled to get home, many of them were stranded because all modes of transport had shut down by afternoon.
Homes were inundated and cars abandoned on the streets. Thousands of Mumbaikars who rely on the local trains were stuck at railway stations for 7-8 hours. Many more decided to walk, seeing no other way to commute, wading through waist deep water, putting their lives at risk.
Temples, churches, gurdwaras and schools kept their doors open to provide temporary shelter. Many Mumbaikars stepped out of their homes with drinking water, tea and snacks, way before the Mumbai Police and the Navy came in.
What’s surprising is that there was no sense of anger or resentment among people, rather a willingness to help. Come to think of it, it’s not surprising at all. Time and again, this city has exhibited selflessness and solidarity in the face of adversity. But dear Mumbaikar, you ought to be angry. Very angry.
Don’t get us wrong, we love Mumbai and truly applaud its spirit. But it’s time to put your foot down and ask some very important questions to the concerned – or in this case – unconcerned authorities.
The local administration could very well be using the proverbial ‘spirit of Mumbai’ as an excuse, knowing that people will fend for themselves and will go out and help others too — but will never question the officials or make enough noise for them to stand up and take notice.
It’s the voice of Mumbai as one strong entity that needs to reach greedy corporators and shake them up in their sarkaari seats.
“The 2005 Mumbai floods had 950mm of rains. 300mm (on Tuesday) should have been manageable,” Abhishek Thakur pointed out on Twitter.
SirJadeja mockingly tweeted, “Finally, BMC delivered its promise. We can’t see potholes anymore.”
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta called the rainfall ‘unprecedented’ and ‘something that was beyond the infrastructure of Mumbai’. He went on to thank the corporation and all of its employees for bringing Mumbai back on its feet (did they, really?).
Where was BMC when the city was flooding? Why did it take so long for them to get water pumps? Why has this become an annual affair?
As hardworking taxpayers, you deserve to know: Why isn’t your tax money going into fixing the infrastructure of the city? Why do our roads still have potholes and open manholes?
Why don’t we have an effective drainage system in place? Why don’t we have a disaster management plan even 12 years after the 26 July floods? For how long will BMC keep blaming nature for bringing the city to a halt every monsoon?
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is the richest civic body in India with Rs 61,000 crores allotted to civic welfare. Where has this money gone?
Millennials in Mumbai must ask these questions and initiate a serious movement with the help of traditional media or social media. Exercise your right to information and ensure the people in charge do their job. And if you still don’t get answers, rethink your vote at the next elections.
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