Who is in command?

Yesterday, this paper carried a front page report about how six supposed state-of-the-art command centres set up after the city’s crippling 26/7 deluge — which saw Mumbai being flooded heavily post unprecedented rains and some people lost their lives due to the disaster — lie in a state of shameful neglect.

Even eight years after those rains, which have cast such a long shadow over the normally stoic Mumbaikar. Memories of how we struggled to reach our destination, eight years ago, still haunt us.

These command centres were set up so that emergency services like fire-fighting could access different parts of the city in minimum time, and to cut down on the response time they took during the 26/7 floods. Now, one learns that five command centres are derelict, with no interiors and no equipment.

Who is going to be answerable for the waste of taxpayers’ money used to set up these centres? Right now, there is nobody who is willing to shoulder the responsibility. If there are no answers, why did these command centres, as they are called, come up at all? People who are responsible for these centres need to answer and accept responsibility for a colossal wastage of funds.

One gets the impression that these centres spread across the city (in SoBo) and the eastern and western suburbs became an almost knee jerk reaction to the July 26 crisis. There was no plan in place as to how they would function and the role they would play in city disasters post setting up. A depressingly familiar failure of long-term vision. Also familiar is passing the buck and silence on the waste of tax money. Not all the fire fighting equipment can douse citizens ire. 

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