Even as the first week of Monsoon kicks in, Mumbai is already crippled by evils of water logging, rising traffic jams and nearly paralyzed train services. As a true blue Mumbaikar, I cannot help but cringe everytime the rains begin. With rising drinking water scarcity across the city, the rains are nature’s best blessings but how to stop the resultant transport nuisance?
So what is the real issue and why is water logging a never ending problem for Mumbai? How can subways and railway tracks be saved from perils of water accumulation? There are questions galore and answers seem to be in scare supply and with limited implementation will. But is the blame alone on the Govt?
Of course the Govt is to share the major part of the blame but accountability seems to be the biggest culprit. Contractors claim to have cleaned the storm water drains but obviously there is no ground evidence of the work having been accomplished. Because the same drains all seem to be clogged and water is accumulating on roads, railways tracks and inside close compounds.
The biggest casualty seem to be the toll on the railway tracks. Almost the lifeline of Mumbai, the suspension of the railway services take a huge toll on business in the country’s commercial capital. Apart from the thousands stranded in railway platforms, the extent of loss of business on a daily basis is huge. Perhaps it is high time for initiating a public-private module with clear accountability norms for rainwater management.
We need a constructive module that not just looks at immediate concerns like cleaning storm drains and clear passage of water out of the railway tracks but also long-term sustainable measures which can look at addressing the core issue of water logging and take meaningful measures against it.
It is time a system is put in place for implementing and keeping a watch on realistic measures instead of ad hoc solutions like repairing a few potholes or couple of roads over an extended period. It is hard to believe year after year, the Govt is unable to find a more workable and effective solution to tackle this issue if it put its mind to it!