The Mumbai Blues – Monsoons

mumbai_rains

In recent years, Mumbai has been facing the most brunt of heavy monsoons in India. Right from the dark days of June 2005, the monsoons in Mumbai have been slashing and brutal. Though the administration has been claiming from past 2 years that it has been prepared to control the adverse effects of monsoons, little has been done. The roads are still flooded, drains clogged up, railway tracks full of water and the huge traffic jams.

Over the weekend, the city witnessed toppling trees, submerging roads, the Arabian sea splashing, walls and bits of building collapsing in one or two areas even killing some persons.

Rains disrupting Mumbai since 8 years

From past 8 years, the monsoons in Mumbai has been creating a havoc. The largest destruction being the monsoons in 2005. June 26 that year saw the whole city struggling with as many as 300 and more people losing their lives. The streets of Mumbai were badly hit with floods of water destroying houses, lives, transportation and bringing the whole city to a standstill. People were stranded at workplaces, railway stations. Mass destruction of property and lives. It took the city almost 2 months to come back to its routine life.

This year again, the city’s suburban railways which ferries millions of people every day, and trains which are the backbone of Mumbai’s transportation were jostled and shut down. The roads were once again filled with water causing pedestrians to wade through.
And while the people of Mumbai wait in anticipation as to what lies ahead, one cannot stop wondering as to what could possibly be the reasons for these disruption during monsoons.

Water logging: The 150 year old drains

Water logging is one of the reasons for the floods swelling up in the city with an average rainfall. This year, water logging was reported from as many as 31 locations in the city during the weekend. The heavy flooding witnessed on the city’s roads railway tracks and low-lying areas have more to do with both the high tide situation and the metropolis’ poor drainage system than anything else. For, the city’s century-old drains are ill-equipped to handle a even a meager 25 mm rainfall per hour. Garbage and waste lay scattered, which caused water logging on rail tracks after the two days’ non-stop raining.

Deluge and havoc

Places like the slum colony in Vikroli got the first taste of monsoon showers quite the usual way. Non-stop rain all through the night filled up the homes and the water refused to recede even after 12 hours. Houses are filled with 10 feet high water by because of continuous rain at night. The residents were forced to spent the night on Vikroli Station platform number 1.

Unfinished Road constructions

It seems the BMC were not expecting the rains till mid-June. Certain road projects were not finished in time and the debris remained lying uncleared added to the woes of Mumbai. They still had a lot of cleaning up to do. Isn’t it high time since the BMC wakes up from its slumber?

Impact of Mumbai Monsoons

Flights

Flights were delayed by five minutes to half-an-hour since morning, Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson said. Two Kingfisher flights — Kolkata-Mumbai and Delhi-Mumbai — had to be diverted late last night because of heavy rains, he said. Thirteen flights into India’s financial capital were diverted to distant cities, while many more were delayed by up to an hour. There were occasional powercuts.

BMC offices leaks

Some of that rain has poured through the ageing roof of the offices of the city’s municipal authority, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is charged with readying the city for the monsoon. The 125-year-old heritage structure that houses the Corporation Hall and the Mayor’s office. Local newspapers showed little sympathy. “Forget saving the city from floods, the BMC cannot even keep its own house in order during the monsoon,” the Times of India said on its front page, alongside photographs of filing cabinets draped in tarpaulins and brimming buckets placed under leaks.

Accidents, traffic jams an life loss

The Eastern Express highway also saw several road accidents. There were four cases of walls collapsing, and one person was killed. Traffic was slow-moving between Peddar Road and Haji Ali, and some sections of SV Road near Andheri. At Sahar, a part of the road sunk in, leading to further traffic disruptions.