Even as the monsoon has just set in, the city has already found itself in deep water twice in a span of three days. The city’s struggle on Friday and then on Monday, laid bare how ill-prepared the city is to face the monsoon — a fact predicted by HT’ expert panel last week that visited spots to gauge the situation.
The panelists said that the city needs a mix of both short-term and long-term measures to tide over the problems that come with the monsoon, year after year.
Right from completion of projects to ensure better mitigation during heavy rains to stricter supervision of nullah-cleaning and road improvement works for smoother roads, experts said the city needed a major overhaul in several departments.
Despite the grave situation in the city over the last few days, the panelists were unanimous in saying that the city can be made flood-free with proper planning and efficient implementation.
“So far, most of the BMC’s flood-relief measures were directed at controlling flooding caused by heavy rainfall during high tide. However, it also needs to deal with issues such as localised flooding and topographical flooding, which have been completely ignored,” said SN Patankar, retired chief engineer (storm water drains).
Another panelist, James John, an activist from AGNI-Mumbai, said the city could see smoother roads with better management. “The city desperately needs a ducting system where all utility cables are placed together. The companies will not dig up well-laid roads then,” said John.
“If the BMC can coordinate with other agencies, it will result in more concerted efforts towards smoother roads,” added John.
Former mayor and sitting Shiv Sena corporator Dr Shubha Raul said the BMC needs to have a proper policy for road repairs. “We don’t have a proper policy to appoint contractors. Any company which is interested in just its own profit comes ahead and the BMC agrees to allow it to fill the city’s potholes. This must stop.”