destination india

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

mum-bye to shang-high

Normally, the distance between two fixed points remains constant, come what may. But, in the case of Mumbai and Shanghai, we observe that the distance keeps on increasing. Doubts are being raised in certain quarters as to whether the crown of the Financial Capital will look better on another head. No one can recollect wastage of so many days of activities in any other metropolitan city due to rains. Schools are forced to declare holidays, employees are compelled to remain night long prisoners in the office, and commuters have no other alternative but to wade through knee deep and sometimes waist deep waters to reach safety. It is natural that it rains during the monsoons; if the rains are delayed it spells doom for farmers and city folks alike. Farmers - because they are unable to till the soil and plant seeds and raise crops to feed the hungry populace the following year. City folks - because if the reservoirs do not get their quota of water, the effect will be felt only the following summer.

City fathers are meant to ensure that, when it rains, the rain water has a smooth journey down the drains and sewers to its final resting place and does stop midway to clog the gutters with discarded polythene bags, waste paper, leaves and an assortment of garbage from orange and banana peels to empty packets of pan masala.. If the passage is not smooth, it results in accumulation of dirty, filthy water that carry hundreds of thousands of germs. These cannot be wished away as natural phenomena and vagaries of nature. They are lame excuses. Shanghai also faces the rainy season, has it ever been reported that excess rainfall leads to chaotic conditions there, that power supply remains cut off for days, that anti social elements take advantage of the situation and cry ‘tsunami is coming, run for your lives’ resulting in death of innocents?

Obviously, there are certain actions that need to be planned in advance and executed before the onset of the rainy season. A leading tyre manufacturer gives advance notice of the probable date of the strike (of the monsoons!) Others can take the initiative and repeatedly keep telling the city fathers that – you have so many days to get your things in order else you will lose out in the race for supremacy.

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