Readers tell us how they coped on Terrible Tuesday and its awful aftermath. Reproduced almost verbatim:
I am Priya, an old resident of Panvel, now settled in Melbourne, Australia. My parents are still residents of Panvel and I heard from my parents that the situation in Panvel is terrible. The water level had risen up to 10 ft level in the (New Panvel sector 18) area where we live.
The ground floor apartments are completely swept away with people having no clothes to wear and no food to eat. I was happy to know that my parents are safe but I am really shocked at the same time to know many of whom I know have died in the torrential rain floods. As of now, what is the next step that the government is going to take for the losses to the people in Panvel and similar rain affected areas? It was surprising that there is no news about the extent of flooding in Panvel. The media coverage is only on areas like Sion, Chembur, Borivili, Churchgate, etc.
According to BBC the death toll is only 800. The severity of the problem has to be shown to the world so that some charity can come from all across the world to help the flood victims. As mentioned in the Rediff article it will take ages for Panvel to regain its beauty. I am very happy to know that at least Rediff has published something about the severity of the flood situation in Panvel. I again request the Government and CIDCO (who have their colony in New Panvel) to have a look at the structural strength of the existing buildings affected by flood, so that later people don't have to face another risk of building collapse. Please do something!!!
Thank you and I pray for the speedy recovery of all flood-affected victims.
In this time of crisis, I never expected anyone to be so partial, especially the media.
Everyone is talking about the Kalina area, and there are even navy personnel helping people out. One news channel is also claiming it is the first who reached there with help. But all of their help is restricted to Air India and the Indian Airlines colony, because these colonies belong to the government.
My question is what about other parts of Kalina, all those houses that are just ground plus one? The village people of Kalina, does anyone bother to help them? Did anyone bother to reach them? They are on their own. When you go little further from Kalina to Kurla, there is Vivek colony, Govind Sagar, Kailash Parbhat, then on CST road Kapadia Nagar there is still water in the ground floor flats. On 26th July, all the ground floors were submerged. Did anyone bother to reach them, find about their plight and help them?
Those people are in very bad shape, they need drinking water, medicine, food, milk. Please send your relief to those places there as soon as possible.
I never expected Rediff to follow the path of other media blindly, for me REDIFF means truth, correct, always there for help. But sorry to say today Rediff also is not able to provide the correct picture.
I am very hurt.
This is to bring to your notice -- and through you to the entire world -- that when Mumbai is going through the worst rainfalls and state government announcing closure of schools, colleges and offices, warnings are being issued by the authorities of not venturing out of your place until it is very important and cannot be avoided.
The central governments schools and offices in area of Anushakti Nagar, Cheetha Camp and Mankhurd are running and some schools are conducting unit tests also, as according to them they are being governed by central government and will not follow state government directives. We parents want to know whether the rains are affecting only state government employees and not the central government employees.
At one side we are struggling with the rains and tragic conditions, on the other side we are under tension because our children have to go to schools and study for their examinations. Since the teachers are staying nearby, they can come and attend the session. However, the children are not necessarily staying in nearby areas and are travelling from far places as far as Sion, Panvel, Ghatkopar, etc. They have to travel against all odds.
The schools I am referring to are Central Schools 3 in Anushakti Nagar, Kendriya Vidayalaya at Cheeta Camp, Mankhurd. The offices I am referring to are Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation Science Centre. I request you to kindly bring this notice to everybody in India and the world how mechanical we can get at times......
-- Regards, grieved parents
I've a lot of friends in Mumbai who are looking forward to volunteer help in cash and kind -- for those who are seriously affected in the rains, but do not know how to forward the help across to the people. Can you please help us out here and suggest an organization or a social group currently involved in the relief work?
With so many good Samaritans around, who needs help from the government? Vilasrao seems to be more busy with Narayan Rane than anything else!
My name is Gaurav Moghe, currently doing my post graduation in Baroda. I have been a Mumbai resident for 20 years. This monsoon, water entered my house. That is not what has angered me. It is the plight of the millions of Mumbaikars and the ridiculous statements coming from politicians, the lack of any disaster plan for the city although millions of rupees have been "spent" on it, and the lackadaisical attitude of the administration. In Gujarat, 50,000 people from the villages were rescued and evacuated in just 3 days! And in Maharashtra there have been 1000 deaths till now!
The following article voices my frustration and my angst towards the system. I hope my thoughts reach the millions of Mumbaikars who are fighting the fury of nature all by themselves.
It was Tuesday. I was working in my Nariman Point office. At around 4, my boss told me that there's some problem with the trains and said I could leave early. So around 4:30 pm I and my collegue left towards our homes in the suburbs. I stay in Andheri east and my collegue stays in Malad west. We went to churchgate station and found out that the trains weren't working. So we decided to take a cab towards the suburbs. I didn't have enough cash. So I rushed to the nearest UTI bank ATM to get cash. To add to the irritation, I found that ATMs are not working because of satellite problems. So now what??
She had some cash, but not enough to hire a cab. So we decided that the cab will be taken till my house, where i'll pay the dues. But we didn't get the cab. We were not at all aware of what the situation was. We thought it's just another Mumbai rain and we would reach home. In vain we took a bus from Mantralaya till Mahim. And what worst can happen, we had only reached Marine Lines after 2 hours. It was somewhere around 7:30 pm. We decided to walk. Also the phone lines were not working. My BPL mobile started working after some time and was easily available. The other network working was that of Reliance. We were in touch at our respective homes through these networks.
It was raining very heavily and we started walking towards Andheri. We had reached Opera House where we had some biscuits and I found a HDFC ATM working. So i took enough cash to reach home. We moved ahead to find around 4 feet water near Mumbai Central. People were drunk and the local tapories all set for tapori giri. This was the worst location we went through. There were no people helping us and we didn't see enough officials.
As we reached Mahalaxmi, the roads were clear, but couldn't find a cab. So we took a lift from a car driver who was on his way to Andheri. He asked for Rs. 100 and we agreed for the same. At this time it was somewhere 9 o'clock. We thought we would reach in another couple of hours, but the couple of hours never ended. We took around 4 hours to reach Mahim, where the driver said that he'll go back. We got down at Mahim and decided to walk till Bandra highway, where we can take any transportation. It was around 1:30 that we reached Bandra highway and to the worst of our dreams, we saw the highway under water.
At 2 we went back to S.V. Road, where there was approximately 5 feet water. we tried to take a cab but in vain. We kept walking. After some time, we took a lift till Khar linking road and the worst was yet to come. There was water everywhere and no place to walk. No street lights made things worst. But one thing that i would say is that i could find BMC workers working hard to remove water and also providing a helping hand to the commuters. BEST drivers, police and local reesidents all joined hands to help the trapped commuters. At Khar we were made to realise that there is 10 feet water at linking road and the only way to walk out was SV Road.
There was continuous water to the extent of 4-5 feet. We were not able to see anything, but the local residents helped us in finding the way. Due to heavy rains, my cell stopped working. My collegue started feeling giddy and I was getting worried. Things were just getting bad as our physical strenght lost out.
We decided that I would drop my collegue to one of her relatives in Parle west and I would move on. She was walking on the divider so that she could stay above water. One of the commuters helped us with his cell phone where we were able to contact our parents. The roads were so dark that we couldn't realise where we are. We just kept on walking until we realised that its Parle and her relatives place is near by.
When we say that all bad things happen on the same day, this is a classic example. We moved in the lane next to nanavati hospital. There was no water but the place was so dark i couldn't see my hand. and we were attacked by the street dogs. After lots of efforts we got rid of them.
At 4:30 am in the morning, we reached her place and I took some sort of relief. My house was just 30 mins walk from her house, so I decided to walk. I reached parle east and I realised that I just couldn't walk. My legs started aching badly and I couldn't find any transport from there too. After loads of struggle and after 2 hours, at 6.30 am I reached my house. A 14 hours journey from Nariman Point to Andheri.
Things were so bad and things are so bad that after so many days i still have my knees aching. I will never forget that day. This is just half the story, there are many other experiences that have just created fear in my heart. I hope this is the last time i did this.
-- Pankaj Karde