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Monday, August 01, 2005

A scatty administration, and hope of respite

Sheela Bhatt of Rediff tries to look into "Why the Deshmukh government failed". She writes:
On July 26, as the magnitude of the crisis increased alarmingly in Mumbai, instead of concentrating on what it wanted to do, political leaders instructed the administration to do a bit of everything. The administration failed to accord priority to the relief/resuce work and the areas of operation, the Congress leader [that Bhatt spoke to] added.

As the rain submerged Mumbai, the government was challenged to put its resources behind the rescue of marooned citizens in low-lying areas, restoring power, draining water out of water-logged areas, supplying essential commodities, restoring communication and maintaining law and order.

The administration behaved as a fire-fighter; instead of concentrating on saving people's lives on the first day of the crisis, its energies and efforts were scattered.
Read the full piece here.

Other news on Rediff: Archana Masih begins to document the woes of the large middle class of Mumbai. She feels that "[w]hile promises are being to slumdwellers who lost their homes, the loss of the middle class Mumbaikar is being ignored."

Also, The India Meteorological Department says that Maharashtra might get respite from the rains in two days. It warns, however, that "the rainfall may shift north and would be very very heavy in northern Maharashtra."

Meanwhile, the union health ministry has not felt the need to issue an epidemic alert in Mumbai. That sounds like good news, and I hope that it is.