80 boats, 1.8cr people: You do the math | india | Hindustan Times
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80 boats, 1.8cr people: You do the math

india Updated: May 31, 2009 00:47 IST
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The preparedness of BMC for the monsoon seems to be at the same dismal level. At least if we take a note of the BMC’s prelect before the onset of monsoon, many questions still remain unanswered.

The BMC claims that this year they are fully prepared. But a few prominent points from their monsoon action plan leaves one in a shadow of doubt and with many points to debate on such as…

Their claim to have one helicopter on standby and that a request for an additional helicopter of having been sent to the Army.
A platoon of 80 lifeboats on standby.
Several ward officers and their team members trained for relief and rescue operations.
These all seem as hollow claims.

Going by the above plan of BMC, I wonder whether these many efforts will be sufficient in case another deluge-like situation were to arise. A few questions worth pondering on are…

Are a couple of choppers enough to carry the required number of people to safer ground, given the number of sorties it might have to undertake in case a repeat of 26/7 scenario occurs?

Are the lifeboats and several members of BMC's disaster management team sufficient to take control of lakhs of stranded people?

I suggest, the BMC should, in a phase-wise manner, train people from committees, clubs and associations in each locality. They should also have volunteers from NGOs and other voluntary action groups trained in a similar manner so that an effective and time-bound action plan is executed at the right time.

The BMC should take lessons from countries like Japan, China etc who do a mandatory drill for disasters such as earthquakes and floods where the entire city takes part, enabling coherent level of preparedness.

I feel by implementing a few such measures, Mumbai will be better able to tackle crisis situation in case of a deluge.

All said and done, it is the spontaneous response from the people in wading through dark water and coming to each other’s rescue that helped earlier. Honestly, I don't feel the BMC is at any point ready to tackle a deluge-like situation.

Who knows, it might be a case of ‘once bitten twice shy’ for the BMC.

— Sameer Nilatkar

Are you ready and doing your bit?

I do think the BMC is doing whatever it can to face the fury of the monsoon. They have grand plans to modernise the drainage system in the city. There is no reason to doubt its readiness to avoid a repetition of 26/7.

The lessons would have been learnt and effective steps taken to minimise flooding.

The low-lying areas are posing perennial problems. They require special attention. In any case, flooding in such areas is accepted as a matter of routine. Steps such as clearing the slums and widening the nullahs are in full swing and the BMC hopes that the city would be ready to face the monsoon this year.

There is one problem though and no amount of planning can solve it. The problem is the citizen himself.

He thinks that he has the divine right to throw anything and everything anywhere and everywhere. Parks, beaches, pavements, roads and platforms are all conveniently used by him. In fact, it is as good as a tradition.

Isn’t there any better way of disposing waste than to throw it through the windows of the local or mainline trains?

Plastic bags, water bottles, leftover food items, papers, torn slippers, flowers, vegetables and packaging materials find a place on the rail tracks. Even the interior of the locals is not spared. He expects the BMC to take action to clear the garbage on a daily basis and ensure a clean environment for him. He thinks he has no responsibility in this matter.

Every right entails a responsibility. We, in general, lack civic sense. If we behave irresponsibly, why BMC, not even Brahma, Mahesh and Chakra-dhar won’t be able to help.

— V.N. Kesavan

I do think the BMC is doing whatever it can to face the fury of the monsoon. They have grand plans to modernise the drainage system in the city. There is no reason to doubt its readiness to avoid a repetition of 26/7.

The lessons would have been learnt and effective steps taken to minimise flooding.

The low-lying areas are posing perennial problems. They require special attention. In any case, flooding in such areas is accepted as a matter of routine. Steps such as clearing the slums and widening the nullahs are in full swing and the BMC hopes that the city would be ready to face the monsoon this year.

There is one problem though and no amount of planning can solve it. The problem is the citizen himself.

He thinks that he has the divine right to throw anything and everything anywhere and everywhere. Parks, beaches, pavements, roads and platforms are all conveniently used by him. In fact, it is as good as a tradition.

Isn’t there any better way of disposing waste than to throw it through the windows of the local or mainline trains?

Plastic bags, water bottles, leftover food items, papers, torn slippers, flowers, vegetables and packaging materials find a place on the rail tracks. Even the interior of the locals is not spared. He expects the BMC to take action to clear the garbage on a daily basis and ensure a clean environment for him. He thinks he has no responsibility in this matter.

Every right entails a responsibility. We, in general, lack civic sense. If we behave irresponsibly, why BMC, not even Brahma, Mahesh and Chakra-dhar won’t be able to help.

— V.N. Kesavan

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