Another monsoon…

Another monsoon and yet again, Mumbai has come to a standstill. What a shame. For a city that is touted to be the financial nerve centre of not just India, but Southeast Asia, four days of rains is enough to wash it away. Figuratively anyways!

So all the tall claims by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh have come to nought. Ditto for the BMC. Thankfully, the rains are not as bad as they were last year and that is the only reason that things are still somewhat in control. But the forecast for July 4 and 5 is heavy to very heavy rains and that does not sound good.

The problem of Mumbai and its people is that they are accommodating. Too accommodating. They let migrants settle down. They let just about everyone who wants to come over and make a life. As a result, the roads have become inadequate, the public transport insufficient and the quality of life, poor.

Mumbai pays a great deal of India’s income tax. What does it get in return. If my memory serves me right, some Rs 1,000 crore is all that was allotted after last years floods. Like that’s going to help any. Most if it would be required to grease the palms of the babus and ministers who worked to get the grant. What did the city get in return? Another year of flood? More apathy from the centre?

When the Hon. Prime Minster comes to Mumbai and says it needs to be developed further, we all nod and agree and feel good. But has anyone asked what is being done? For the last 3 years, there has been planning going on to start work on the Mumbai Metro Rail. So far, not much beyond blueprints has happened. And doesn’t look like it will go any further for another couple of years at least (I am an optimist, you see). So until then, continue to travel like sardines, dogs or cattle; take your pick! The Mumbaikar will know what I refer to.

Does Mumbai deserve better? Sure. But why? Simply because it is big? Because a lot of money (business, films etc) resides here? Or because the residents of the city want it to be better? To some point, I can understand why there is nothing happening to improve the city. There is not enough pressure on the administration. Everyone in Mumbai is so busy that no one can take the time out to fight for the very city that provides their livelihood. Maybe because they know nothing will stop it from growing even more.

Perhaps Mumbai needs its own Medha Patkar. Move over, Dolly Thakore. Maybe a town planner is more required than the Kishen Mulchandani in white! Either way, the point is that the residents and businesses need to team up. If the BMC is impotent when it comes to tackling basic issues, maybe corporations (the size of Reliance or Tata) could step in and take over. Maybe it is time to privatise. Maybe it’s time someone asked the resident. And threw out the immigrant. Maybe it’s time roads were seen through the slums once again.


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  1. 1 Scribbler On The Net » Blog Archive » News Whores

    […] I would also like to ask (again) how much Mumbai is going to tolerate… netas and babus will come, promise, tsk tsk and all will be back to normal. And some time later, all shall be forgotten. Unfortunately, some time later, all shall be repeated again too. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next year, maybe 10 years from now… but unless Mumbai stands up and demands its rights, things will not change. Isn’t it time we also, like the US, attacked our attackers? Why are our people’s rights and country’s dignity any less that theirs? So who is the suspect? […]

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