It’s raining... but not flooding
An inconspicuous telephone has been the center of attention and yet the reason of much disappointment in a small room in Dadar.mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2010 00:28 IST
An inconspicuous telephone has been the center of attention and yet the reason of much disappointment in a small room in Dadar.
It has not been ringing as expected. In fact, it has not rung, at all.
The Disaster Management Cell — ready with an SUV, walkie-talkie sets and local administrative officials — have been jobless ever since it began raining a week back.
Although some degree of flooding was reported from some low-lying areas of the city, the water receded fast enough and did not hamper normal life for more than three to four hours. No one has fallen into manholes left open for the water to drain out (apparently there was no need to open any manhole) and no train services have been disrupted as none of the tracks have been flooded.
Areas in Juhu, Sanatacruz (West) and Vile Parle (West) that have been chronically prone to flooding for more years than local residents can remember, did not report any flooding, now that the Irla Nullah pumping station is functioning.
“I moved my Italian dining table from the ground floor to the first floor bedroom of the bungalow for nothing,” blogged a Bollywood super-star, a long-time Juhu resident. “Now that there is no flood water anywhere near our home, I wondering whether we should make the bedroom our dining room.”
“We have been on high alert for the last couple of days as the weather department predicted heavy rainfall. But we have not got a single call. It seems the city does not need us,” said a civic official at another disaster management cell. “We have nothing to do.”
The official added that the loudspeakers they had hired to mount atop the SUVs — to alert citizens of the dangers of getting drenched — may now be returned to the wedding bands that they were taken from.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been caught on the backfoot.
Usually prepared to face the onslaught of citizens’ anger, the public relations department had prepared press releases that were to be sent to the media at regular intervals, explaining why all its efforts to clean nullahs on time could not be successful because heavy rainfall invariably coincides with high tide. Now, reams of press releases are lying unused.
“It is normal operating procedure for us. But now, we are stuck with these piles of printouts that we have no use for. Maybe we will keep them for next year. Hopefully, they will be useful then,” said an official at the department.
The fact that the railway tracks have not flooded has also taken its toll.
“We thought our threat of a flash strike, if timed during the monsoon, would send the authorities into a huddle,” said a leader of the railway motrmen’s union. “But now there is no point. We have to rethink our threat.”