It’s a no-win situation for Mumbaiites. If it’s a poor monsoon, you’ll have to live with water cuts and inflation, but a proper monsoon means that you will struggle anytime you step out of the house for the next three months.
After just two hours of heavy downpour on Monday evening, the civic body received around 400 distress calls, there were water-logging complaints from 32 spots and 66 trees collapsed, causing two injuries. And 324 new potholes have been detected on city roads in the past 48 hours. All of which raises questions about the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s purported monsoon preparedness.
“We received a call almost eve-ry five minutes about tree falls,” said an official from the control room, requesting anonymity.
Citizens complained that the BMC’s response to complaints was slow. “The civic body’s disaster management system failed completely. There was a two-hour delay before the staff reached the spots where the trees collapsed. And they did not have proper equipment,” said Pravin Chheda, Congress corporator from Ghatkopar, referring to the eight tree collapses in the suburb.
Between 8.30am on Monday and 8.30am on Tuesday, the city received 93.7mm of rainfall, a trifling figure compared to July 26, 2005, when Mumbai received 944 mm in 24 hours, leading to one of the worst disasters in its history.
Civic chief Sitaram Kunte said the BMC is prepared for the monsoon. “The disaster management system is strong. There were a few areas where there was some concern. But we were able to ensure that no part of the city remained flooded for more than 30 minutes,” he said.
Kunte, however, admitted there was a delay in Ghatkopar. “I have asked for a detailed report.”