City of disaster…

The city of Mumbai (Bombay) once again gets caught with extreme rainfall, with fall up to 200 mm in 7-8 hours, the city is getting paralyzed, waters are flooding low lying areas across the city, including railway tracks, stations, highways and streets, the roads once again have converted into rivers, the situation gets coincided with high tide in the Arabian sea, forcing the storm water drain gates to remain closed and drowning entire city, with water level in some areas rising up to 5 feet. 

As usual the blame game starts, media channels pointing out the scales of disaster, pointing out the authorities for the devastation, the Bombay Municipal corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) raise their arms and hold the “nature” responsible, the city gets shut for time being, people suffer… and next day forget things by blaming it onto their fate… assuming such calamities are also the price one has to pay to live and earn in the “dream city” of India. 

The chaos gets into its action with factors like haphazard construction and modernization of the metropolis, the natural drainage pattern of the water according to the topography is disrupted by the building activity above it. The storm water drains are designed and made by the British, and were never upgraded to accommodate the raised water outflow of rain water. The existing system instead gets clogged by the garbage and debris, which in spite of BMC and MMRDA claims to be free of debris, have managed to fail extensively. Over million people living and working in Mumbai always wish to be on the other side of the game, i.e. to always become sufferers, they keep on clogging the city roads with traffic, keep on throwing garbage where ever they feel, keep on spitting which ever corner they find, they continue to exist as brainless organisms, never imagining the larger result of their causes. They would pay for piece of land more than anyone would pay in New York, Paris or London… but never bother to care about the cities infrastructure and physical state. 

The honorable prime minister of the country dreams of making Mumbai as Shanghai… but he wants to swim in the sea without moving any part of his body, India enjoys to live and spend Mumbai’s money for it’s development, but neither the central or any of the state governments dare to check and correct the ground conditions of this chaotic madness. They woo Mumbai in their own needs (…read elections) and later leave the city to it’s own fate, to its railway locals oozing out people, to its roads chocked in traffic, to its minnow drain system failing when its needed most, to its people who end their lives in search of better life in future.  

The city of dreams has to implement its fantasies on its own, remaining aloof from the degraded bureaucracy and wasted political manifestos, the organism has to function as an organism, in its totality and unanimous harmony between its cells. Intelligence and dreams are the ways to get ahead and get going…   


~ by Dharmesh on July 1, 2007.

4 Responses to “City of disaster…”

  1. hey,

    its true how such unwanted situations happen year after year, and when we voice the situation, there are big time plans made and the parliament acts like the nation is focussin on this one issue, but once rain stops and we have the summer breeze, who even bothere?

    see ya Dharmesh!

  2. Great article. I totally agree. I am a student
    of developmental economics and love photography.
    In about two weeks I will come to Mumbai for a month
    to shoot pictures relating to Urban development and
    the situation of the urban poor especially
    during the monzoon season.
    I assume you live in Mumbai? I am still looking for
    contacts and possibilities to shoot pictures and learn
    more about the city. I am alos interested in architecture
    especially relating to urban planning and development
    This might seem random but if you would be interested in shooting some photos together let me knwo.

  3. One has to be staying on the ground floor to understand the problem. Its a shame that India that boast of its great culture is nothing but a bluff, with all those in power unable to do nothing but talk. Travelling by train is yet another issue of shame and so is the open air spitting, urinating and shitting culture that makes India nothing but a country full of selfish money minded people of doubel standards

  4. The blame game is the same here in Karachi, our drains in Karachi too are clogged by encroachers, hutments and garbage. We to are told Karachi will look like Dubai, or a western country (Bah!). Here in Karachi it is the common people, the poor of the city who suffers the worst. And the PM here too is all but busy planning to collect more and more votes by singing fairytales to the common….

    Pakistan and specially India, has a very rich and colorful culture only a few in power cannot destroy it for the people of the Indian sub continental region. For any one with an eye for art, color, love and diversity this region is too rich to ignore. I hope our governments and people in power realize the beauty of their own native land, and think about promoting it.

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