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Rediff News  All News  » News » The Fear Factor engulfs Mumbai

The Fear Factor engulfs Mumbai

July 04, 2006 18:29 IST
"Where has Rs 100 crores gone? The residents of Mumbai need an answer," an angry Dr Himanshu Shukla, a resident of Vile Parle in northwest Mumbai said on Tuesday afternoon.

"We were told, much before the monsoon started, that enough care has been taken to clean the gutters and roads," Dr Shukla added. "We were also told that waterlogging would not submerge Mumbai again. But what we see today is a shame."

The plight of the city's residents the last two days, he continued, reveals that, "In our administration corrupt people outnumber non-corrupt people."

On Tuesday morning Dr Shukla tried unsuccessfully to reach his dispensary located on the Andheri-Kurla road, about 7 km away.

On his way back he discovered a Reliance Energy sub-station submerged in water. The Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy supplies electricity to many areas in northwest Mumbai.

When Dr Shukla arrived home, he found out that the electricity has been shut off, which means he cannot watch television.

Many areas in suburban Mumbai are without electricity.

"Most people in Mumbai fear the rains," Dr Shukla said. "People haven't forgotten what happened last year. Moreover, people distrust the administration completely. Millions are stuck within the four walls of their homes."

Rupal Shah, a stockbroker who lives in the northeastern suburb of Ghatkopar, felt the "rains in Mumbai are no longer beautiful."

She said she does not have the courage to venture out of her home because her neighbour told her that high tides are expected on Tuesday evening.

Ashu Patel, a writer who lives in the northwestern suburb of Kandivli, took four hours to return home from Goregaon, a journey that usually takes just 20 minutes.

"Police vans are asking people to not leave their homes," Patel told, "they are alerting people about the possibility of more rain. We are also getting alerts about waterlogging in different areas on our mobile phones."

"If with such normal rain Mumbai gets dysfunctional, then what have we learnt and done after the rains of 26/7?" he asked.

However, not everyone is fearful.

"On the 13th floor of my home in Prabhadevi (central Mumbai I can see the rain pouring its heart out," senior lawyer Niteen Pradhan said. "I can hear the sea roaring with gutsy winds creating furious sounds. I got a call from the high court that scheduled matters will not take place in court today. So I returned home. I am enjoying the rain-washed lush green trees against the background of the mad, mad sea from my window."

rediff Mumbai Bureau