Thursday, July 29, 2021
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BMC and government should realise that Mumbaikars are feeling cheated

If the rains pour once again continuously, we can expect another 26th like situation in the city. Few days back many gave up their lives and the city was restless. Entire Ganesh festival went silent in rainstorms. Navratri will begin today but city is not at peace to welcome Maa Durga. Sena-BJP-Congress -NCP everyone failed to give flood-free Mumbai; Shiv-Sena is just lured in corruption on every level, be it BMC or Mumbai roads or drainage arrangements. This time even BJP has promised flood- free Mumbai but failed flat. Shame on these political parties and promises that they made to people, equally big shame on those who choose them again and again.

Mumbai, which witnessed heavy rains in the last two days, will see more downpours in next few days. Who can envisage that rains can even prove to be curse for someone? The metropolis has a population of 12,442,373 as per 2011 census. As per the guidelines, there should be at least 124 community shelters. But it seems that neither the Maharashtra Government nor the Municipal Corporation is concerned about the risk of life every homeless may face during rains in the absence of any shelter. A response received through an RTI has revealed that there is no shelter built by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) as per National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) guidelines and only seven night shelters are in existence prior to NULM guidelines that do not match the standard inmates’ capacity.

Rains are a scary ordeal for homeless folks to protect their children and infants, the sick and the aged. It poses a risk to their lives. What is important to know that whether the government is bothered to take care of its poorest citizens to ensure them protection from any kind of life risk? Visit the street side and see how these lives are messed, they have dumped in suffocating spaces just to hide heads.

As per census of 2011, there are 57,416 homeless persons in Mumbai. The guidelines under NULM of the Ministry of Housing and Urban poverty Alleviation state that there should be a permanent community shelter for every one lakh population.

Those small-time vendors, whose shops are situated on ground floor in National park area had to bear severe losses. When rain continued, the dams were opened by authorities to avoid heavy water pressure in the dam. As a result, the entire water got into streets, shops, houses, cars and two wheelers sailed from one side to another. Forget about human losses but many shopkeepers had to incur heavy losses when seven feet water all of a sudden entered in to their shops. Everything just got washed out. Vegetable vendors had to go through another trauma. Those who keep their stomach on hands had to starve for many days. But there is no compensation or considerations for them from government or authorities.

Schools and colleges have been shut in view of the heavy rainfall. There are many schools still under water but Government has hardly anything to offer than keeping the schools closed. Many areas are waterlogged; main runway is shut at Mumbai airport and 56 flights got diverted.

Torrential rain lashed Mumbai for the second time in weeks, flooding low-lying areas, paralysing rail, road and air traffic in the country’s financial hub. Worst is yet to get over. This is what happens in every monsoon, but authorities are not ready to fight these seasonal casualties.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has everybody to accuse for the upshots of Mumbai rains except themselves. They are yet to realise that, somewhere their inefficiency is causing lots of damage to the city and its mankind. As usual, BMC has pinned the blame on everyone except itself, practically giving itself a clean chit. While Mumbaikars damned the BMC for its poor crisis management during heavy rains (300mm) on August 29, followed by massive flooding and loss of lives, the civic agency has blamed everyone, including the India Meteorological Department and railways, but has refused to take up any blame or accountability. Let’s suppose IMD failed to issue a warning well in advance. But the monsoon is not new to the civic body. What did they do to fight the disaster? The BMC is endlessly at denial and they refused to acknowledge its own inadequacies in terms of incomplete projects, rearrangement of storm water drains, and circuit houses/pump houses to clear water from waterlogged areas and most importantly, the lack of readiness for monsoon rage. The Mumbai deluge left at least 20 people dead; one of the deceased included a doctor who slipped into a manhole on a waterlogged area. There were three deaths by falling in Borivali gutter but all went unnoticed, as those people were not celebrities but the strays. Forget about human lives, the animal lives too have gone miserably; many stray dogs went missing in floods. Mumbai has remained with empty hopes and false promises. It’s our hard earned tax that we pay to government for our welfare and safety but looking at these crises, the citizens feel cheated.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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