Friday, August 19, 2005

Miscommunication - The murderer in Mumbai

The whole city rotting under 8-10 feet deep flood water for almost 2-3 days wasn’t enough to open the eyes and ears of the authorities. In spite of clear indications to the root causes of these problems, I am almost certain that little would change in what is called the Town planning office and the associated agencies. Land mafia would continue to get plots and mangrove lands de-reserved for residential and commercial purposes – primarily to make money.

Another thing that comes to the defense of the authorities is the fact that rainfall caused floods in non metro and rural areas as well, where the reasons mentioned above hardly hold good. Places in Konkan were affected by the rains and reported heavy losses – life as well as property.

One of the things that stand out is the utter lack of communication from the authorities to people about the whole situation. Rumor mongers had a field day and that killed a lot of people in stampedes, when rumors of Tsunami were spread in the slums adjoining the Powai lake. On e of the things the authorities could put in place is a simple Disaster recovery and Business Continuity Plan for the city. A city like Mumbai needs it desperately to be able to keep moving in a business as usual manner and bring back peoples confidence in the system. Mumbai perhaps is the only place in India where people have tremendous faith in the public transport systems and use it to the core. If we falter in Mumbai, other places could never catch up on the path to progress.

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