Mumbai Flooded by Monsoons and Poor City Planning

In 2005, Mumbai experienced one of the most gruesome floods they ever faced this century, with over 600 people dead, and almost 300,000 people who needed severe medical attention. This catastrophe made India embark on a mission to prevent this horrific natural disaster from ever happening again, however their passionate motive to fight back died out when this recent August 2017 flood occurred.

Just three weeks ago, India experienced another catastrophic flood killing over 1000 people in the course of just two days. According to CNN “A 32-year-old woman died after falling into a drain filled with rainwater in Kalwa. In a different incident, the body of a 28-year-old man was discovered near a drain in Korum. A three-year-old girl also fell into the drain but is still missing, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Sandeep Malvi, told CNN”(CNN), Health officials say that leptospirosis, disease spread through rats, caused many of these nearly 37 deaths.

Compared to 2005 and 2017 floods, the rainfall fortunately had reduced from 944mm to 468mm. However, this latest flood was recorded the heaviest rainfall in August since 1997, and with the 2005 rain fall being the heaviest rainfall India has ever faced.

According to the Indian Express that these several monsoons can be fought against and prevent heavy floods if the infrastructure is stronger. However, the government believe that this “Mumbai’s monsoon problems —potholes, overflowing drains, flooding — are manifestations of a larger fundamental urban planning issue. The city managers, urban planners and developers seem to turn a blind eye to the real challenges of climate change, seemingly reliant on the Donald Trumpian disbelief towards global warming and rising sea levels”(Indian Express). Additionally, Mumbai’s drainage system can only hold 25mm of rain per hour, because of India’s infrastructure and high ratings of a unsanitary environment, a majority of the trashes and other disposable items are thrown on the ground and left being there forever. Thus, when the flood occurred many of the garbage on the ground were drained down in the drainage system blocking space for rain water to surge through. Without redesigning their infrastructure and preparing for extreme weather, India’s cities will increasingly succumb to its ravages.