How Prepared Is Mumbai For the Monsoons?
Mumbai has always been known for its monsoons which always ends up flooding some of the prime areas of India’s financial capital. The reclamation of the wetlands, alteration of the natural landscape and the high degree of concretisation, are some of the reasons why Mumbai has to face the crisis almost every year. Although the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims to be monsoon-ready, the ground picture is completely different. Recent pre-monsoon showers have shown whether Mumbai is prepared for the monsoons or not.
- The biggest cause of water logging this year is the large-scale development of the Metro network in the city, for which roads have been dug up and diversions are everywhere. While the Lokhandwala-Vikhroli-Kanjurmarg Metro Line 6 has narrowed the Lokhandwala Road, the roads in Andheri East are in similar conditions as the construction of Metro Line 7 is in full throttle.
- To be prepared for the monsoon ahead, the Mumbai Traffic Police has identified 215 locations in 34 traffic divisions, leading to 145 traffic diversions. This includes areas such as Byculla, Colaba, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Santacruz, Sahar, Malad and Pydhonie. Towing vehicles, tow boats, JCB machines have also been kept on standby in these locations. Also, the police have prepared a time table from June to September 2019, identifying the days and timings of high tide. Around 167 swimmers have been roped in for help at the time of crisis.
- The BMC claims that 99 per cent cleaning of major drains and 92 per cent of minor drains in the city, has been completed. The corporation will be putting clear signages on roads for civic hospital, schools and offices in case of any disastrous situation. From June 14, 2019, the BMC will also start a service on its Mumbai 24/7 mobile application where people will be able to upload pictures to report civic issues and geo-tag it with the exact location. Such complaints will be addressed by the local ward office.
- The Navi Mumbai traffic police has written to CIDCO to take steps to repair flood-prone areas such as Dronagiri, Ulwe, Kharghar and Taloja to avoid snarls and other monsoon-related problems. According to one of the local residents, Gagan Kanojia, who is also the president of a housing society, “Kasadi river is not in a good condition. The mindless destruction of mangroves during debri dumping activities, have destroyed the river and the authorities are not paying heed to our complaints.”
- Meanwhile, the CIDCO administrator for Kharghar-Dronagiri-Ulwe, Ramesh Giri, has said, “The pumps have been stationed at the waterlogging spots while corrective measures have been taken in low-lying areas to avoid flooding. ” CIDCO is claiming that almost 70 per cent of the pre-monsoon work has been done and the rest will be completed in the coming days.
For residents, even their homes need to be prepared for the upcoming rains. Here are some tips to make your home monsoon-proof.
With monsoon comes leakages in the roof, dampness on walls, dirt and dullness. AMA Design Solution CEO, Mithun S Sheth, shares some tips to make your home monsoon-ready:
- Check for open wirings and deck up the wires properly within the electricity boxes, to avoid being electrocuted. Also, make sure the wall on which the electricity box is mounted, is free of any water seepage.
- Furniture usually tends to soak up the atmospheric moisture, so it is advisable to water-proof your furniture by covering it with water-proofing sealants.
- To avoid the carpets from being ruined, keep them rolled in a plastic wrap to use in the next season.
- Check for any blockage in the drainage pipes beforehand and make sure they are clean and unclogged.
- Pay extra attention to kitchen hygiene. Monsoons are when pests and termites grow and lurk around in the moist, dark corners of your house.
- Change your linens every week or every alternate week to avoid the moisture being trapped in them and to keep them fresh and clean.
Is your home in a low-lying area? Here’s what you could do.
- If possible, shift your furnace, water heater, and electric panel to floors that are less likely to be flooded. Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.
- Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home. As a last resort, when floods threaten, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
- Listen to radio and TV stations for the latest information and updates. Be prepared to evacuate quickly when a potential flood is on the rise and find a local shelter beforehand.
- If you are in a high-risk area, consider buying flood insurance. Flood insurance will cover direct physical losses due to flooding, as well as loss from flood-related erosion.