Governments come and go but there is none capable enough to save Mumbai from the annual lashings from General Monsoon. The megapolis seems condemned to suffer extreme hardships every time the rainy season starts. Since the onset of monsoon is welcome and almost a near-certainty around this time of the year, it speaks of monumental failures of the civic body, the State government et al for them not to be prepared minimally for meeting the annual challenge. The wholesale disruption of life results in loss of millions of man hours, breakdown of civic infrastructure, suspension of emergency services, extreme trouble to the old and the infirm.
It is a mystery why the policy-makers cannot devise a standard operating procedure ahead of and during the first big showers of the season. Is de-silting of drains such an arduous task that it cannot be completed efficiently before mid-June? Ensuring that the local transport system does not completely screech to a halt is another challenge which ought to have been tackled several monsoons ago. There are other simple, basic steps which ought to have been taken but were not because of apathy and indifference and due to that mother of all ills that afflicts our rulers, the sab chalta hai syndrome, which forces Mumbai on its knees every rainy season. When will we learn, if at all?