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Make that 2006!!!!!!!
Jul 04, 2006 06:53 PM 16332 Views
(Updated May 15, 2011 01:07 PM)

How do I start - the disastrous management continues unabated!!!! Since Saturday, work in the commercial capital of India has been thrown completely out of gear and the municipal and state authorities' tall claims appear laughable to say the very least. If yesterday I took a halfday from work, today I returned home halfway to work, seeing the water levels on the roads beginning to rise. And what a wise decision that was! Within hours, the railway services were thrown out of gear and waterlogging spread to several parts of the city. And - horrors of horrors - Nariman Point, which was 'dry' even in the afternoon got waterlogged towards the evening - rub your eyes in disbelief - with just a heavy downpour in the afternoon. The worst affected areas of the city had to go without power. Thankfully, my locality, Vashi - atleast my lane! - escaped all of this to remain one of the best localities in the city and suburbs in times of rain!

And what does our dutiful municipal commissioner Johnny Joseph have to say to Mumbaiites - "please remain calm, don't panic and don't believe rumours." Yeah right, we have remained calm despite having seen you guys make a holy mess of our city over the years for that dirty word votebank, what makes you think we will panc now? We have become numb with our resilience and immunity to anything that happens around us. If the sky were to fall on the city tonight - a good chance of that happening too - Mumbaiites, instead of screaming in fright, would try to get out of the debris through the nearest gap available!

It's not my intention to continue any further with this tirade - sorry, Mr.Deshmukh, I don't believe anything at all can rouse either BMC or the State Govt out of its slumber. I just have a simple question to ask of you - In future, if it so much as drizzles in the morning, should Mumbaiites leave for work without any anxiety about whether they will be able to return home safely? OK, I don't need to be told I'm exaggerating, Mr.Smart Aleck. But frankly, the rain this city has seen in the last four days, while no doubt heavy, is nothing unforeseen or new to this city. Don't tell me 10 cm a day is something BMC was unprepared for. But that is exactly what has happened. No, I'm not demanding the sky; I do know that areas like Kalina and Milan subway are chronically prone to waterlogging. But then, there was no need for the authorities to make such absurdly empty promises which have been literally washed away in the first dose of serious monsoon rain. You could have asked us to be prepared for the worst just-in-case. We already were, you know. You could have asked companies to keep the workload low in the monsoon and redistribute the backlog through the rest of the year to the extent feasible. Nothing difficult that - working an extra hour or two the rest of the year so that we can breathe easy in the rains.

Look, if you cannot bring Shanghai or Singapore or Manhattan or what have you right here in Mumbai, no problem, chalega, yaar! We can forgive you for that. Just tell us that Mumbai will forever be like this only and we will adjust our lives around that reality. You have made us perhaps the most cynical bunch of people on earth. But even we are naive at heart. And we seriously hoped deep down that the downpour of 26/7 would brought some sanity back to Mantralaya. It is patently clear that that was very much the stuff of dreams.

So, this is for all of you who plan to move to Mumbai - please do not come here only because some builder sold you the dream of proposed infrastructure improvements in the area. Mumbai nahin badalne wala hain! I'm fine with the city the way it is for better or worse. But if you can't make that adjustment, I promise you, you will not enjoy your stay in the city.

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