Mumbai came to a standstill on Wednesday as torrential rains lashed the city. Most of the schools were shut in Mumbai and the Mumbai Police has also issued a notification intimating the public about heavy rains for the next two days.
The rhetoric about half the Indian population brawling with rains and the other half grappling with drought is only getting grimmer.
While the IMD has issued a red alert warning in Mumbai, it becomes imperative to delve deeper into the issue that has wreaked havoc in the financial and entertainment capital of India.
Every year the same hashtag trends – #Mumbai Rains – with the same set of problems taking precedence like, schools shutting down, all forms of transport being paralyzed, water-logging, and safety of the citizens being compromised. Yet, the whole country forgets the problem as soon as the rainy season ends. Unfortunately, the battle continues as it is each year.
It is important to understand that sending rescue teams and imposing red alert is only damage control. The real solution lies in long term planning, pre-rain readiness and improvement in the existing infrastructure.
Some major changes in the status quo can avoid the perennial rain mess scenario.
Making rainwater harvesting systems effective, issuance of advance warnings and making infrastructural changes to damage control, much before the rains start, can help. Use of technology to prevent water logging can also help strengthen the roll-out of the damage control process.
Hopefully, this rainy season will be a lesson for Mumbai and the situation will improve from next year.