Gone With The Wind!

Dear Readers,

The start of the week heralded disaster for Mumbai, as a mighty dust storm colluded with heavy rains, leading to devastation, tragedy and loss. The city was literally taken by storm, with two of the more ghastly incidents, comprising a massive and illegal towering billboard being torn from its moorings and coming crashing down upon a gas station under it, in Ghatkopar, claiming over 15 lives and leaving many more in a critical state; and another, where an entire, semi-constructed, car-park metal tower carrying at least 18 cars, collapsed to the ground!

These calamities, and so many others like these, cannot be palmed off merely as acts of nature – these are the consequences of blanket negligence, abysmal disregard for safety regulations and open violation of norms, purported by the unrestrained mushrooming of dangerous structure across Mumbai. While legal action has been initiated against the owners of these life-endangering assemblies, one cannot be blind to the increasing failure of the regulatory bodies and authorities, complicit in permitting these constructions in the first place!

The rest of the city was also ravaged with much ground destruction, uprooted trees, power-outs, stalled trains, traffic jams… and more. It paints a sorry picture… feels like it’s all literally gone with the wind… billboards, buildings, trees, vehicles, along with safety regulations and norms, civic responsibility, enforcement measures, disaster management, civilian security, even lives… all just gone with the wind!

And this is even before the monsoons have truly set in! As per verified reports, as temperatures rise, a large part of Asia, including India, will experience more intense and frequent dust storms. There are a number of Parsi buildings in wanting conditions, inside and outside colonies and Baugs, which are in need of urgent attention, and residents could be gravely impacted by such impending onslaughts of nature.

Even as Mumbai comes to terms with the aftermath of this catastrophe, here’s hoping that proactive measures will be implemented by the government as well as relevant Parsi authorities, to ensure safeguarding the lives and wellbeing of the people.

Have a good weekend!

– Anahita

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