“On Tuesday, I sat in a public transport bus for three hours as it crawled from Dadar to Ghatkopar,” said Karishma Kulkarni (21), an MBBS student of KEM College.
“Parsi Colony and Sion Circle are flooded every year, but the municipal corporation does not do anything to avoid the situation. Every year the common man has to suffer for their mistakes,” she added.
The 21-year-old’s complaint is representative of the anguish among Mumbaiites every time it pours. The first thought that crosses everyone’s mind is: “Will I get stuck somewhere?”
On Tuesday, when heavy rains lashed the city, normal life was disrupted — people waded through waterlogged roads, traffic. Both road and rail, was stuck.
And all this when it rained just 170 mm — not even 1/5th of the 944 mm of rain the city recorded on July 26, 2005.
“After attending a meeting at Juhu I had to wade through knee-deep water to reach my Titwala residence,” said Purshuram Gund (27), a contractor. “Every year we are stranded during heavy rains, but the BMC does nothing but make empty promises.”
While some were stuck for over three hours in immobile trains, motorists had to crawl through waterlogged roads, avoiding potholes.
“It was horrible driving from Safed pool in Andheri towards Ghatkopar. Usually I take 20 minutes to reach home, but that day I took 90 minutes. I couldn’t see the road, the water reached my car window,” complained Jagannath Kulkarni (49), an officer at Pentax Engineering.
“The civic corporation wakes up at the last minute and does everything in a haphazard manner. We told them many times to clean and widen the drains in out area even before the monsoon began, but they never bothered,” said Anandini Thakoor, chairman of the H-West Residents’ Trust.
Tuesday’s flooding was caused by heavy rains coupled with high tide, said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
“The city is prone to waterlogging as lot of these chronic spots are geographical low lying. Nothing much can be done about that. We had set up pumps at all 55 chronic spots and activated them as soon as water levels began to rise,” Mhaiskar added.
“The storm water drain project will be ready in the two to three years and once that is ready it will serve as a long-term plan to keep the city flood-free.”