Open letter goes viral, Mumbaikar asks who is responsible for the floods? BMC or You?


Mumbai is a tolerant, patient, forgiving and a helping city. Whenever the city faces a challenging situation, we fight against the odds and shine and rise. All is good but we never learn from our mistakes. The main cause of the 2005 deluge was plastic bags and wrappers which had clogged the drains and killed animals. Post the deluge, we thought we must have learned a lesson about how usage of plastic bags can prove to be dangerous. But sadly, we remained the same- Ignorant.

Our ignorance was seen in 2005 during the deluge and again on August 29 when roads and railway tracks got submerged under water and we could see plastic floating. We learned nothing in last 17 years. This makes us angry and we are sure, many of us are angry seeing our callous attitude towards our environment. One such Mumbaikar has written an open letter in which he has vented out his anger with regards to our negligent attitude. He has asked each and every Mumbaikar as to who you should hold responsible for throwing plastic and sanitary napkins. BMC or You?

I am a Mumbaikar – I see TV and news media creating a fuss over BMC’s failed response. Yes I agree that the BMC failed in responding or pre-planning adequately to the water logging at a city level but have not YOU failed in your civic sense at an individual level?

YOU throw food wrappers and plastic plates and spoons out of trains’ windows and that does not bio-degrade causing blockade in rail drains – then the tracks are water logged and trains shut – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

YOU flush your condoms, sanitary pads and plastic objects down the toilet drain instead of putting it in garbage bin – this blocks the sewer flow speed – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

YOU park your cars on streets in such a way that drains could not be cleaned by BMC trucks – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

YOU do not segregate waste into wet and dry waste – YOU or YOUR waste collector dumps the garbage irresponsibly on the roads and it litters in rain waters – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

YOU do not carry reusable bags to the market and bargain with the sabziwala to give you extra plastic bags instead of going plastic free – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

YOU can easily carry water in reusable bottles when you venture out of home – yet every time you purchase mineral water and add to plastic waste once finished – who is to be blamed – BMC or YOU?

Change starts with YOU – Be a responsible citizen first.

Hopefully, this letter will make us realise that we should not take our city for granted. Just because we survived the floods, doesn't mean others will. It's high time we rethink about our callous attitude when it comes to throwing waste, plastic and sanitary napkins on roads and railway tracks. Every time, we blame the BMC for not giving enough dustbins or for the bad road conditions. But, when are we going to be responsible citizens?

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