Mumbai’s first heavy rain cripples life, civic preparations exposed
The situation in Mumbai suggests poor governance and lack of accountability of the BJP-Shiv Sena controlled municipality.
Heavy rains in India’s financial capital Mumbai have killed 27 people in the last 24 hours and civic life has come to a standstill. Many portions of the city are witnessing water-logging and traffic movement has come to a halt, with rains bringing misery to the Maharashtra’s capital city since Friday.
Mumbai Municipality Fire Department has informed the media that the worst incident occurred when a building wall went sliding down on the shanties built on a hill slope in the suburb of Mumbai. The accident killed 18 people and more than two dozen people were rescued. In Kalyan, the northern side of the city, another wall collapse in a school killed three.
Casualties have also been reported from Pune city in Maharashtra due to rain. Six people were killed due to a wall collapse on Tuesday, in addition to Saturday’s building collapse that killed 15.
The collapse of civic life has once again put a question mark on the preparedness of the country’s richest civic body BMC in dealing with the annual monsoon rains.
After Monday’s heavy downpour, the heaviest rainfall in a decade, Tuesday morning continued to be rainy and officials announced the shutting of schools and offices as a precautionary measure. The municipal corporation has asked people to remain indoors, as heavy rain is expected during the day.
Mumbai, we understand it’s not been an easy Monday, but it’s also been a rain spell like never before - it’s the highest in a decade. 550 mm average of entire month of June has been exceeded in just last 48 hrs. We are truly trying our best. We request a bit of caution & patience— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) July 1, 2019
The situation in Mumbai suggests poor governance and lack of accountability of the BJP-Shiv Sena controlled municipality. The matter also signals the urgent need to redesign and rework urban governance structures and priorities.
Clogging of drains due to garbage and extensive construction activity in the coastal city of Mumbai has made it difficult for it to cope with rains every year. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday personally monitored the rescue operations. Many people are stranded in low-lying areas.
The financial markets were open on Tuesday. However, the main runway at Mumbai airport was closed on Tuesday after a flight overshot the runway while landing. Minimal air traffic operations were carried out from the secondary runway and, till noon, 55 flights were diverted and around the same number of flights were cancelled due to bad weather.
The Monday downpour is the worst in the last one decade. In 2005, more than 500 people were killed and many rendered homeless after heavy rains lashed the city, bringing life to a standstill for many days.