Mumbai rain exposes laxity of authorities

Television images and newspaper reports of people wading across the streets of India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, with water reaching almost their heads once again expose the lack of duties being performed properly by the authorities concerned.

What happened in Mumbai is shameful. The sheer negligence of the local authorities in developing a disaster management system (and in this case, even a decent drainage system), is something that is to be condemned.

What are the authorities doing with taxpayers’ money? How long can they keep blaming the old crumbling drainage system from the time of the British Raj? Who is to blame for this and who will compensate the families of the victims? The questions are endless and the answers seem to be hidden very carefully.

I do not even want to imagine what would have happened if a tsunami had hit Mumbai. Surprisingly, even after thousands of deaths in the tsunami of December 2004 in India, the Maharashtra government has not bothered to create a proper mechanism to deal with such calamities. How many more of these incidents do we citizens have to face before the authorities wake up?


An inquiry should be set up to investigate how and why something like this could happen if the authorities had properly spent taxpayers’ money.

New Delhi


The callous flood situation in cities like Mumbai is because of gross violation of all rules and norms by the builders and developers. Cities may become more and more advanced but what use is it if basic problems like sanitation and traffic are not given any attention?

The politicians and the bureaucrats are also accountable as they have allowed all this to slowly happen right in front of their eyes. The unprecedented rains and flash floods should serve as a wake-up call for the authorities.

They should now ensure that proper planned structures are allowed in the future. Humanity is more important than money.


Of costs and quantities

It was interesting to read that wheat (atta) cost Re. 1 for ten sears in 1896 (The Tribune, July 26). Now the cost and quantity are reversed. We get 1 kg of wheat for Rs 10! Which is better, the past or the present?

One can only remember the opening lines of Charles Dicken’s The Tale Of Two Cities: Those were the best of times, those were the worst of times! Universal words, true forever.


Lessons to learn

No doubt, agitations are a regular feature of our democratic society because of inadequate administration and lack of application for labour laws. To prevent agitations from getting out of control, the workers’ demands should be sort out amicably. No police officer should be allowed to take revenge as in Gurgaon.

Our labour laws should be so liberalised that the union leaders may find solution from the same. The labour courts should adjudicate on demands not covered by the laws.

In any case, the police should not interfere in agitations. In case of violence, they should try to arrest those responsible for it immediately.

The management should watch upon workers properly to resolve their demands quickly. Bad elements should not be given jobs to prevent such incidents.

N.M. HANSI, Ludhiana


It was the dismal failure of the district administration. As a resident of Gurgaon, I also witnessed the terrible Mewat riots in the aftermath of the Babri Mosque demolition in the late 1992, and the adroit handling of the situation by the then Deputy Commissioner.

The incident also shows that the government was slow to react, indecisive and liable to develop cold feet in an emergency. The belated decision to hold a judicial inquiry and to send both the DC and the SP on long leave are just an eyewash. The probe must be fair and impartial. Ideally, a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court should head the probe.

P.N. GUPTA, Gurgaon


The belabouring of Gurgaon DSP Dahiya by the striking workers was most unfortunate and condemnable, but the retaliatory and revengeful unleashing of terror by the police is simply synonymous with brutality and barbarism. While mob mentality is faceless and the action was like a flash in the pan, police, being a state force, is not paid to thrash people like occupied forces. What is expected now is to expedite the promised judicial inquiry and just implementation of its recommendations by the state government.

Ambala Cantonment

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