Dubai: Indian expats from Mumbai are increasingly concerned about heavy rains affecting normal life back home almost every monsoon.
“It has been raining very heavily in the past couple of days and more rains have been predicted. Our relatives back home are saying that this reminds them of the heavy downpour in 2005 that led to floods in Mumbai,” Dubai resident Nisha Rajesh told Gulf News on Saturday.
She said people had to wade through waterlogged roads in many areas and several services have been hit by constant downpour. “My father-in-law braved the rain to go to the courier company to send us some documents that we need urgently. But he said the services have been suspended due to the rains and there will be delays.”
Sumana Prashant Naik said her father and husband’s relatives who live in the suburbs of Mumbai were finding it to difficult to cope with the situation brought on the monsoon rains.
“My brother-in-law’s building in Badlapur was affected and the ground floor was immersed in water. People from the ground floor stayed in his flat on the first floor. Thankfully, water has started receding today,” she said. Though people were stranded and there was water everywhere, she said, many did not have tap water to drink as the water supply was disrupted.
“It is such an irony that in the midst of water everywhere and there is no tap water to drink. This shows the need for better management of the rainwater. It is high-time the authorities started large-scale harvesting of rainwater in Mumbai. They can not only supply water to Mumbaikars, they can even send it to other cities struggling with shortage of potable water.”
Nisha’s husband Rajesh Ravindran said their WhatsApp group of owners of apartments in Palava City in Dombivli were actively discussing about the need for rainwater harvesting. “Many communities in Mumbai have started doing it. We have also been told that our community will start harvesting rain water at least by next year.”
Sumana said she expects the authorities to do some serious research and find a way of channelling the precious rainwater for better use and prevent flooding. “Things will definitely improve then.”
Rajesh said raising awareness about clogging of drains with rubbish during other seasons was also important. “Waste management is as important as rainwater management. Authorities need to take some serious steps into that direction also.”
Meanwhile, expats like Bindu Vinod are enjoying the rainy weather though low-lying areas and potholes have been waterlogged.
“We are out enjoying the climate far away from home. We enjoyed the drive and sipping a hot cup of coffee with some hot pakoras (snacks). We wish we could have this climate there in Dubai,” said Bindu on a WhatsApp message on Saturday evening.
Sumana pointed out that rains, or even bombings, cannot dampen the spirit of the city. “Life there doesn’t stop no matter what happens. That is the speciality of Mumbai.”