Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Curse of July

It’s been exactly one year since the famed 26/7 cloudburst and subsequent flooding of Mumbai. Yesterday, Johny Joseph, the BMC Chief, was narrating his pain over the Media hype of the incidents. It is not fair to put the entire blame on him, he said. And he was emphasizing the point that this year BMC is better prepared and within three [3] years, there will be no floods in the city.
God Bless him, but how is it going to happen? As I wrote earlier, a mere 250 MM rain caused wide spread panic, totally flooded streets and the lifeline, the railways, had shut down it’s services. Now who is responsible for that? The irony of the fact is that, the Emergency / Disaster management Cell set up by BMC was flooded in the first day of rain! Isn’t it a little too poetic to say that they are prepared? There are five more days to go before July comes to an end. Anything could happen within these days. Mr. Joseph, I sincerely hope that you don’t have to eat your words. Not for your sake, but for the poor Mumbaikar;s sake. We have had enough for a lifetime. Flooding, Riots, Bomb Blasts and epidemics.
The apathy of people towards this is appalling. In Vasai West, a housing colony, named Brij Bhuvan, has at least 8 cases of Jaundice. And it is spreading to others. Some tenants went to the Secretary and asked him to get the Water tank cleaned. He said that there is nothing wrong with the water tank and no need to clean it. Some of the residents don’t even remember when it was last cleaned!!

Is there a curse on July? Every year July brings disasters and maladies. There are reports that Malaria and Dengue is wreaking havoc in the suburbs. Jaundice is already making it’s presence felt. An old annual guest, the viral fever, is fast approaching the city. Other strains are already came and having a ball. Leptospirosis has already claimed many lives. Yet our BMC chief says that we are prepared. What are they prepared for? Mass Funerals? Or mass suppression of facts? BMC claiming that only 2 deaths occurred due to Leptospirosis in Private hospitals but the original figure is much more than that.
How long we continue to live like dogs? The lethargic, stoic nature, famously dubbed as Spirit of Mumbai, is the bane of an average mumbaikar. Get up from the slumber. Or our beloved city will be a mass grave.


whistlingwoods said...

Interesting!! Well, I feel it is rather unfair to blame the administration for everything that goes wrong. The average Mumbaikar has an equal contribution in the shitifying drive of our shity .

Complete disdain toward civic sense is our hallmark. Spitting, defecating on the streets could be mistook for our national sport.

The refuse flushed down marble commodes chokes up the drains. The kachra thrown out of satin clad windows litters our streets.

Will the average Mumbaikar mend his ways. Love the city with all his heart, and keep it clean. Treat it like his home??

Shinu Mathew said...

I agree with you that to a certain extend we, the people are responsible. ButWhen your administrative powers are a failure, why keep promising things? And Why don't they bold enough to fine those who spit or defecate on the roads? Why can't they enforce the plastic ban? Why can't they do their duty? is what my question. I am not putting the entire blame on them. But year after year, we have seen things deteriorating, but there has to be a stop to this.

whistlingwoods said...

I feel it is rather sad that we need the threat of penalization to enforce civilized behavior. I am not being partisan toward the administration. However, I feel people should be more proactive.

Mumbai Guy said...

There cannot be immediate stop, not in immediate future. Shinu, you are right in criticizing officials but we cannot absolve ourself completely.

We should make sure our home, our building and our street is clean. If everyone takes responsibilty upto street or gulli level, I can guarantee life would be much better.

People should be educated in polite way. This topic is very simple but equally prone to offend the usual mass.

All spitting, defacing should be banned and people in neighbourhood educated. What say guys, are you ready for such undertaking?

Shinu Mathew said...

It is indeed sad, but educating drives, in the past, have been a total failure. Even penalizing failed to make any change. Remember, a couple of years back, spitting and littering on the streets made an offense but I don't what happened to that drive. Our heritage buildings and new spanky one are equally spat at. Our streets are full of litter. A stringent law, with more punitive and proactive clauses may make some changes. But it is as equally important to make the Law Enforcing agents to do it properly. On the other hand, do we have all these manpower in our POlice dept? How many places they can cover?
I agree with you. There can't be any immediate changes. Not overnight. Infact spitting is ingrained in our tradition. Chewing Paan and spitting the red spit is like a habit. But There got to be a stop to this, don't you agree?
The whole purpose of writing that piece is to start a discussion like this. And as for Polite ways, I don't see it pays much :)

whistlingwoods said...

'Our heritage buildings and new spanky one are equally spat at.'

Shinu, you sure have a wicked sense of humor!

I feel habitual spitters should carry spitoons. This will satiate their urge and keep the streets clean as well! Not to foget the dash of royal appeal it will add.

Those bombing the city streets can choose to do so in the wee hours of the morning. Please spare us the embarrasment.

I am still dwelling on this. Will spit more words on the next available opportunity...

dhruv said...

July isn't cursed! :P I'm born in July! :D

Nihit said...

Good one shinu...
Actually its BMC and we who are should be pointed on... People wont stop putting garbages and BMC wont work properly... These two things always lead to blockage of water, starts storage of water and than mosquitos, etc etc due to which everything happens...