Friday, July 29, 2005
Mumbai Disaster Management Plan....did it work ???

Its been three days. Everything in the city seems to be getting back to normal. Yesterday on my way to work...i watched people getting their cars fixed...towing vans taking away abandoned cars that were blocking the main roads...some residents throwing buckets of water out of their bottom floor flats. Some parts of the roads have cracked up...building walls have collapsed...and huge amount of dirt/garbage piled up in most places. It usually takes me 45 mins to get to work from home...today it just took around 20 mins. What i find most amazing is that 'THERE IS NO TRACE OF WATER' anywhere. The roads are dry...its just so hard to believe that these very roads were invisible on the eve of 26th July.

Today, things appear to be better then yesterday...more people..cars...busses on the road. At work most of the staff are absent. But the work is still ON. The electricity condition is still unstable...due to the landslide that happened in Saki Naka area which is just 10 mins away from my factory.

I am still getting calls/emails/sms from people outside Mumbai, relatives and clients asking about the tragedy that took over Mumbai. The most common discussion that comes up in these conversations is 'THE ROLE OF THE MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT/OFFICIALS' in this unforgettable event. Did they launch the rescue operations at the right time? Did rescue operations reach majority of the effected areas in Mumbai city?? Did the MUMBAI DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN (MDMP) work??

From what i saw and heard from others, the MDMP did not work. Atleast i did not see any part of the plan in ACTION. On the night of 26th July, on my way home i saw POLICE OFFICIALS present only near the Limca factory under the Andheri Flyover. After that the entire way i did not see a SINGLE cop....even in JUHU GALI and GULMOHAR ROAD...the most badly effected areas in JUHU. The local people were the ones who were warning people of the nearby potholes/ditches and handing out clean water along with food to the children and old people sitting in the busses and on the car roofs.

Even the next day (27th July), when my brother and his friend went to the market to get water/milk/bread....they saw NO police officials or fire brigade in the area. UTPAL SANGHIV SCHOOL near Amitabh Bachan's house had around 170 school kids and teachers stuck in there..and again the only ones that were helping them where the residents of the surrounding buildings. My complex residents also joined in the helping process. They gave out food, water and medical aid to the people stranded on Gulmohar road. Considering that the water level had lowered to a large extent...why weren't the OFFICIALS present ???

Yesterday also there were no garbage vans present in the JUHU SCHEME area...which is filled with dirt/garbage/debris. The stink is simply unbearable here. Plus the risk of spreading of diseases is also high.

The Maharashtra Government said that no one could have expected or been prepared for such an disaster and they did their BEST to help Mumbai residents...but try explaining this to the parents who had their kids stuck in schools/colleges...and thousands of Mumbai residents who were stranded with no food, water...for nearly 2 days.
For your Information:
Website of Maharashtra Government for MDMP : Its interesting to note that JVPD SCHEME comes under K/W ward, this area is prone to water flooding during rains...BUT on the website it has no mention under the 'Ward wise details of flooding locations'section.

posted at 7/29/2005 02:18:00 PM | comments (3) | permalink

3 comments:

  1. Most disaster management plans fail in natural disasters. Natural causes like rains, earthquakes, tsunamis, alter conditions and situations, where normal actions are not possible.

    This is a well documented fact, and sadly nothing can be done about it. Its the nature of the game itself, no pun intended.

    Disaster Management Plans work well in man made disasters like bombings, accidents etc.

    just my two cents !!
     — Anonymous arZan, at 7/29/2005 07:15:00 PM 

  2. Here is my post which was inspired as a reaction to your blog.

    arZan
     — Anonymous arZan, at 7/30/2005 03:23:00 AM 

  3. I agree, most disaster management plans fail in natural disasters especially in our country. I agree with the government that no one could have expected such heavy rainfalls.

    BUT if simple measures were taken at the right time, then surely things would not have turned out so severe.

    Today is the 4th day and still there is a huge wall of the Army center in Juhu broken and the big blocks of stones are blocking more then 70% of the road. In JVPD Scheme, the BMC has yet not cleared the garbage/dirt that has pilled up practically on every street. Even in MIDC, its the same story.

    In Sydney (Australia), there is always a threat of Bushfires during the summers. And i have seen with my own eyes successful rescue missions been carried out by the NSW government. Even Bushfires are natural disasters..and no one can predict their intensity. But the government here knows how to handle such disasters.

    This is a good article that i read in MID-DAY. It simply explians what measures could have been taken by the MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT.

    "Pull him up today"

    http://www.mid-day.com/news/city/2005/july/114927.htm
     — Blogger Sakshi, at 7/30/2005 12:31:00 PM 

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