This is the season of the grand festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, and Mumbai was in the highest spirits on the streets celebrating. The week turned out to be a little damp for Mumbaikars as heavy rains hit the city. It is recorded to be the worst showers since 2005. Dark skies blurring the buildings and the already not-so-fast moving traffic getting even slower, Mumbai is waist-deep in water today. Everyone right now are too scared to even think of coming out of their homes, people are advised to stay wherever they are. The uninterrupted rain has flooded the rail tracks and shut its service out of gear and people are stuck at railway stations, offices because their daily commute stands still. A ‘Red’ warning has been issued for the next 24 hours for the city and adjoining areas, indicating there could be very heavy rainfall.
There is waterlogging in Dadar, Andheri, Worli, Kurla and Sakinaka, which are some of the most important areas of Mumbai. Thousands of vehicles were stranded on arterial roads in Lower Parel, Dadar, Kurla, Andheri, Khar West, Ghatkopar, Sion and Hindmata areas and people are forced to walk their way out to some place dry and safe. The famous Bandra-Worli sea link has been shut for operations as high tides are expected around that area. As of now, a total of flights have been cancelled from Mumbai airport, seven flights diverted and 23 flights asked to go-around till now. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which is led by the Shiv Sena Government reported three incidents of walls collapsing, 16 incidents of Electrical Failures and over 23 incidents of trees falling in past 24 hours.
Mumbai is partially submerged and people have been advised to avoid beaches and promenades, which will impact the immersion of Ganesha idols – an annual event – creating a wave of disappointment in the people. Rainwater has flooded the King Edward Memorial Hospital, forcing doctors to vacate the paediatric ward.
The Indian Navy has deployed five flood rescue teams and two diving teams ready to render assistance wherever required, BMC has set up six big pumping stations to pump out the flood water. With Excessive water coming in and the poor drainage system, people could be in for worse floods. The Shiv Sena led BMC is again in the limelight and their system has failed again. The Mumbai police tweeted urging people to dial 100 for help.
Even though the whole flood has created a chaos in the city the famous Mumbai Dabbawalahs got off their bikes and walked, determined on completing their job even in the terrible weather. The streets still witnessed “Ganesh Visarjan” in some areas of Mumbai and people completed the rituals with great jest. People have been tweeting about it, where some were concerned and panicky while other were just enjoying the rain and were positive and comical about it. There are churches, Gurudwaras giving people who are stuck, shelter and food, Several helplines are created, Schools and college were shut.
The city is almost shut creating a crisis situation where people are stuck at several places, casual injuries, accidents are taking place. People want to help the ones in need but cannot, and this is where startups can come in, when they are not concerned with the monetary goal, chasing money but actually creating something that could provide service to such people, the victims.
This is the very spirit of Entrepreneurship, solving problems with creativity and technology, making lives of people better on the streets.
These are not common events, floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities take place around us and we can do nothing to prevent or predict it, such is its nature. The Question is not why can’t BMC predict it or why is water logging there or other nonsense issues but the real question is why not invest an idea which can make disaster management a more optimised process, why not a system to minimise loss and inconvenience ? After all sometimes not chasing money but actually helping people feels good, doesn’t it?