After a complete nightmare that Wednesday was, thanks to the massive flooding, Mumbai today tried to limp back to normalcy with the weather gods showing some mercy and the rain relenting somewhat.
But India’s financial capital is still counting its losses. At least 5 people died in the flooding. Trains and flights had to be cancelled. Local train services were suspended. Wherever you looked, there was water logging, traffic jams lasting hours, thanks to a pile up of cars for miles in every corner of the city. The hapless and helpless Mumbaikars left with no choice but to abandon their cars and wade through waist deep waters in a desperate hope to somehow get home even if it meant walking several kilometres.
Some slept in their offices. Many took refuge at churches and gurudwaras. Most were stranded on the road. In effect, life in maximum city came to a grinding halt. The city resembled a river. And chilling memories of the 2005 floods came right back to haunt the Mumbaikars.
Now let’s take a look at some crucial facts. Mumbai is home to the highest tax payers in the country. The BMC, the richest civic body in India, has an annual budget of over Rs 25,000 crore. Of this, nearly 1,000 crore is devoted to storm water drain projects. But the reality is the BMC has consistently failed to spend even half its budget in the past 5 years.
So the question is – Where did all this money go? What has the Shiv Sena ruled BMC been doing all these years? Why were no lessons learnt after 2005? Why was the country’s financial capital brought down to its knees and left to drown? Is there absolutely no accountability?