The process of cleaning the drainage system, cutting the branches of trees which pose problems and de-slitting nullahs are the major work to be completed before the onset of the monsoon season. After all choking of drainage system allows the rain water to stagnate and create temporary floods in the main roads. Drainage system must be cleaned and plastic bags must be removed for allowing the smooth flow of water. The main work of de-silting nullahs will have to commence well in advance so that overflowing water will not enter low lying areas within the city. There is need for fomenting to avoid Malaria menace during the rainy season. The health department should conduct vaccination camp for the people residing near the catchment area. With heat waves hitting most parts of Maharashtra the weather bureau is predicting heavy rains this year and we should be well prepared to face flooding and the calamity that follows during monsoon season.
First of all we should have a disaster management committee in place to meet the challenges in such a ticklish situation. Mumbaikars are dumping debris, iron rod, mud, stones, plastic bags that causes major blockage which leads to flash floods in the low lying areas. The waste generated in tones by the construction work is causing a major concern. The Civil administration has already issued an appeal to avoid dumping of waste and prevent major block in the drainage system in the city. If this dumping is not stopped it will result into clogged drains, overflowing nullahs during incessant rains and water logging in the low lying areas. The preparation already made is not enough and drastic measures will have to be undertaken before the arrival of monsoon. It is time to monitor whether all the arrangements are strictly made in accordance with guidelines for avoiding the repeat of July 2005 flooding witnessed by the city.
Unprecedented rains have cause havoc disrupting both train and air traffic in the past and this time it is a learning experience for the Civic administration to prevent flooding. If we fail to address this problem at the earliest then people will have to face huge hardships once monsoon arrives in the city. In the past people were forced to be evacuated near the Mithi river after it started over flowing and flooding the airport runaway immersed with water and the air traffic came to a standstill. In busy places like Milan sub-way traffic had come to a standstill and the vehicular traffic was obstructed. IT Companies in outskirts and hospital had faced the wrath of rain as the water entered the premises and stopped the work ten years back.
People living in low lying areas were rescued through boats and asked to stay in makeshift accommodation. Though de-slitting work has been taken up to avoid drain blockage, the work is lagging behind deadline this year too. It is time to go all out and do a world of good in the available time to make sure that earlier mistakes are not been repeated once again and transport system doesn’t get disrupted.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)