Monday, August 08, 2005

The Great Deluge

During the last 3 weeks, nature's wrath sank most of Maharashtra; and Mumbai bore the brunt and boy, was it terrible! Almost all my friends and relatives in Mumbai were affected, some stranded on Kurla Station, some walking from ChurchGate to Andheri, my friend's (Udas's) building submerged, my uncle's factory sufferring losses, Abhijit Erande, a good friend (and fellow quizzer) had to wade through chest high water from Andheri to Santacruz, while one of my friend's mother (who had gone to Elephanta for Inspection) was stranded there for 2 days with Navy Boats rescuing her, my Panvel relatives all had water in their houses...... whew !!!

As if this was not enough, my uncle who is the Exec. Engg. for Irrigation in Sangli is now working round the clock to make sure rural Sangli people are moved to safety and we are worried sick about him.

To add more jets to the water spout (rather than fuel to fire) the politicians have shown how worthless and inactive they can be. Taking names, I would like to quote Milind Deora (by the way these "Youngster Politicians" have all won because of their fathers - Sachin Rajesh Pilot, Milind Murli Deora, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, Naveen OP Jindal etc etc)
Milind straight away said that the responsibility of ensuring well being of citizens is that of BMC and not the MP and MLA's. Also Govinda said that his constituency had not been submerged so he need not go to see his constituency, Vilasrao didn't go to Kalina fearing 5 feet water, Kalmadi has gone to Hel "sinki" and is enjoying the Scandinavian Summer. Moreover the internal battle in Shiv Sena took precedence in releif distribution with clashes between the defected and party groups. To make matters worse half of South Western Maharashtra is flooded because Maharashtra released excess water from its dams and Karnataka did not (from Almatty and Tungabhadra) fearing floods in the areas where the river flows after the dam. Too bad - the so called sugar barons could not do anything for this situation and crores of crops and millions of livelihoods were lost.

Now with floods in AP, Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat, MP and forecasted floods in Bihar (when the Gomti overflows in September), most of India will this time experience the same problems. Then I wonder if anyone will be left to blame for the "POOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT" but mother nature herself.

Mumbai's case was more serious because nearly 1.8 crore people were affected (when floods hit rural areas affected people are often in few lakhs for huge expanses).
It is obvious that the Mumbaikars are feeling orphaned, ditched by their own elected reps, and no one for them to help. The media tried to masala - ize the flood and their pathetic coverage (barring Star News) was worth watching. Worse still, when people were expecting future weather forecast, the "NEWS CHANNELS" (all of them Indian ones) showed Max Min Temperatures in cities -- huh. (Try watching the amazing BBC Weather section)

Much has been discussed about this and much will be, but the floods that shook Mumbai will be one of the most remembered events, at least for me!!!!!

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