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Floods >> Extent of Disaster >> Comments
  Mumbai Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Resource Centre 
in association with Times Foundation

BMC Disaster Control: Phone: 1916 or 108 or 22694725 / 7 or Fax 22694719. 
Times Helpline: 56354376 / 45
Karmayog Helpline: 98201-55591 (Upadhyay)  


Official plan clean-up drive beyond Mithi
   September 21, 2005

Though the state government plans to clean the blockage in Mithi River's course, local politicians say that the other smaller rivers too should be inspected.

The north-Mumbai district of BJP has formed a committee to the study and suggest measures required to clean the Dahisar, Valnai, Poinsur and Oshiwara rivers, which were flooded during the July 26 deluge in Mumbai. The committee comprises of corporators, two architects and retired BMC officials.

Says Ram Naik, former union minister and senior BJP leader, "After the floods, everybody's attention has been drawn towards the plight of Mithi River. However, there are four other rivers - Poinsur, Valnai, Dahisar and Oshiwara -which need equal attention. Some parts of the suburb were flooded as these rivers were overflowing."

Apart from Naik, the committee includes MLA Gopal Shetty, deputy mayor of Mumbai Dilip Patel, R-ward president Mohan Mithbaokar and P-ward president Daksha Patel. 

Shetty says that the team, along with BJP corporators from other areas, inspected the Dahisar river, which starts from the Tulsi Lake in National Park and ends at Kandarpada where it meets the sea. Shetty says, "We will also visit other rivers and prepare a report within a week.

The report will be submitted to Madhav Chitale, who is heading a state government-appointed committee to study and recommend measures to clean Mithi river. A report will also be submitted to the Chief Minister."

Naik says that it's unfair to blame the BMC for the mess. He says, "It is the state government's responsibility to rehabilitate the encroachers who have settled on the banks of the rivers."

The committee also includes architects Arvind Nandapurkar and Tarun Mota who will provide technical suggestions like the ideal base and width of the rivers. Naik says, "In 1976, a proposal was floated to construct a dam on the river in National Park.

However, the previous governments did not follow the proposal. Probably, the presence of such a dam could have reduced the flooding here. This kind of technical proposal will also be debated by the committee."

The ban on plastic bags in Mumbai has on one hand the milk-packaging community crying hoarse as to how it would make milk dearer by 20 per cent,
and on the other sees non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved making and selling bio-degradable paper bags, eyeing the opportunity with
tremendous potential waiting to be tapped.

The list of paper-making NGOs includes Society for Heal, Aid, Restore and Educate (Share), Helpage India, Federation for Welfare of Mentally Retarded (India), Raksha, the Delhi Cheshire Home and the Home for Mentally Handicapped.

Share and Helpage are actively consideringly the possibility of converting this opportunity into a big business venture, which could make the mentally 
challenged and senior citizens in earning their livelihood. Helpage, and NGO for senior citizens, encouraged the initiatives of an old lady and helped her to set up a small business. She has tied up with two bakeries and supplys bags on a regular basis.

Share, the corporate social responsiblity wing of United Television (UTV), supplies 20,000 bags to all Fab India outlets in Mumbai on a monthly basis
at a price of Rs 5 per bag. Envisaging huge demand for such bags in the event of the ban being implemented, the NGO is now in talks with other retail outlets like Foodland and Westside. It is also exploring the option of teaching bags-making to people outside Mumbai, to meet the demand of of the Fab India outlets located outside Mumbai.

HSBC and Merrill Lynch are the business houses supplying the basic raw material to the NGO. The other paper donors include Rotary Clubs based in
downtown and Sion and various housing societies located across Mumbai
Sep 3
Name: Mohammed Kasim

This help is requested from the area of CHEETA CAMP, MANKHURD (P.M.G.P) SATHE NAGAR, & TRANSIST CAMP. Many people are still suffering loss from the disaster happened on 26th july and yet neither government had turned back nor any NGO.
So I want to reveal the truth in front of you. The money or help which was promised by the government were not fully completed by them. Rarely few of them had received Rs.1000/-or Rs.1500/- where even that amount can never compare to that losses happened. So we all are in hope that really our this mail will show some light to our affected life. 
September 03, 2005

Deluge on the west coast  including Mumbai brought  unprecedented suffering and loss of life. Though the fault lies with the authorities for failing to take preventive measures that could have reduced the misery, the government response is really  patheitc. There can be no more glaring instance of callousness and irresponsibility than that of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra who summed up saying that "We have learnt a lesson. We are now busy estimating the loss for arriving at the amount of money we should ask from the Government of India for  relief."
Measures taken expose the callousness of the government. Now the government has constituted a Committee to assess the loss and find out the reasons.  The Committee consists of retired government officers and technologists having no contact with the sufferers, i.e. residents.  Representation from the citizen group is missing.
The problems are to be faced by citizens, principally by the poor. It is therefore necessary to work out a Citizen Disaster Management Programme involving citizens and the authorities who have the power but failed to use it.
Time is critically important. Citizens should formulate a comprehensive  programme  for universal acceptance.  
We are prepared to work in this area on an emergency basis.  We request Vinaybhai and Karmayog members to start working.   We need committed volunteers who are prepared to put in physical work.  Acrobats on email cannot bring any result. We can organise as Karmayog members can organise the first meeting early next week after evaluating the citizen response and then sit down to complete the assignment on a high priority basis. 
Best wishes.
Kisan Mehta        Priya Salvi       
PRAKRUTI and Save Bombay Committee
620, Jame Jamshed Road, 4th Floor, Dadar (East),
Mumbai - 400 014
Tel: 0091-22-2414 9688
Kisan Mehta - Mobile 92234 48857
Priya Salvi    - Mobile 93231 96420
Sep 2, 2005 

As the state slowly returns to normal , hundreds of stories emerge about loss of livelihoods and financial ruin to small-scale businesses     ...
Aug 31, 2005
 Sub:- Of course, a scapegoat is needed for the Mumbai flooding / chaos. 
Dear Friends , 
This refers to Media criticism blaming Johny Joseph from failure to fulfil his responsibilities. Let me ask if he is not responsible then why is he needed. It is in adverse times the role or lack of leadership most felt. What was missing on July 26 and after was a clear reponse from leadership for which CM & Johny Joseph are directly responsible. Did anyone in the city felt assured that they are in hands of responsible & capable leaders ..?

What can 1 person or a capable leader do ? LOTS - Examples like Surat, Thane where one people has taken lead to change the entire city. We have seen what leaders did when bigger calamities happened elsewhere in the world.

I agree that what happened was unpredictable but so are ALL CALAMITIES. It is the response or lack of response which was appaling. In the initial few days there was no sincere co-ordinated efforts by Govt. It is only later after criticism & pressure mounted that the Govt got slowly into action. Who is responsible for leading & co-ordination of efforts .. 
Anyway, it is always the top person who gets the credit or blame for success or failure. If a company performs poorly, the CEO is sacked. If a Govt
performs poorly they are kicked out by people BUT unfortunately in Indian politics the incompetent politicians shamelessly stick to their chair and
people pardon their misdoings by saying why make scapegoat only one person.

People get the GOVT they deserve. We will continue to get incapable Commissioners & politicians till we accept them ...

Thanks & best regards,
Aug 28, 2005 
Message: 3 Date: 25 Aug 2005
From: "ramesh wasudeo" <
>...i also agree that mithi is not the only river responsible. there are other rivers too. unforunately they drain catchment area water only during monsoons and are not perennial.

most of us dont take into account the percolation effect of rain precipitation. before development started on the hillside across iit / powai lake, rain falling on the hill would percolate into the soil and reach the powai lake after months. now that the area is *developed*, the rain-water runs down the paved areas into the lake in hours. hence the voluminous overflow into the mithi and contiguous areas. the fact that desilting is not done in the summer inspite of the regular dumping of waste/debris has only compounded the problem. hence it is vital that a percolation system is put in place along the entire hillside, including the east and south faces. 
janak ( )
Aug 27, 2005 
Of course, a scapegoat is needed for the Mumbai flooding

This refers to Mr.Badami's letter absolving Johny Joseph from failure to fulfil his responsibilities. Let me ask if he is not responsible then why is he needed. It is in adverse times the role or lack of leadership most felt. What was missing on July 26 and after  was a clear reponse from leadership for which CM & Johny Joseph are directly responsible. Did anyone in the city felt assured that they are in hands of responsible & capable leaders ..?

What can 1 person or a capable leader do ? LOTS - Examples like Surat, Thane where one people has taken lead to change the entire city. We have seen what leaders did when bigger calamities happened elsewhere in the world.
I agree that what happened was unpredictable but so are ALL CALAMITIES. It is the response or lack of response which was appaling. In the initial few days there was no sincere co-ordinated efforts by Govt. It is only later after criticism & pressure mounted that the Govt got slowly into action. Who is responsible for leading & co-ordination of efforts ..
Anyway, it is always the top person who gets the credit or blame for success or failure. If a company performs poorly, the CEO is sacked. If a Govt
performs poorly they are kicked out by people BUT unfortunately in Indian politics the incompetent politicians shamelessly stick to their chair and people pardon their misdoings by saying why make scapegoat only one person ...

People get the GOVT they deserve. We will continue to get incapable politicians till we accept them ...

Thanks & best regards,
Ramesh Patodia 
August 26, 2005
pinpoint responsibilities vs. scapegoat 

When someone is put on the top of the ladder, s/he is surely put there with certain responsibilities and with the conviction that s/he is capable of
handling the responsibilities. It is for Mr. Joseph to retrospect and let the citizens know what were the problems/ difficulties/ limitations that he was not able to deliver, so that these hindrances can be removed from the structure.
But it is very importatnt to pinpoint responsibilities as that is what is lacking now. If the garbage is not picked in certain area, if encroachment has taken place in other area and so on, it is simply because one person is not pinned with this responsibility. If every ward is broken into many subwards and ALMs and heads of each of these units survey their area regularly, things will start working very efficiently. Every task must have a face attached to it and not just faceless BMC. Infact breaking a ward into small units will allow one to know exactly how many people stay in that particular area with a computerised list and whenever there is a new encroachment, average occupation,  need of the area etc. 

Aug 27, 2005

one point bugs me all the time. do we as responsible citizens of a free democratic nation have to always take the position of confrontation and protest in streets and stations against our own elected representatives / public servants?. can we not play a more positive role by leading a delegation to the concerned minister or public servant and if need be hold dharna there?. 

signature campaigns, protest demonstrations with play cards and taking to streets have hardly succeded during the past to elicit desired response.

is it not necessary for us to first try and open a dialogue before we start protest?. let us be enlightened, empowered, emboldened responsible citizens and first try discussion with responsible authority, next media sensitization and resort to confrontation only as last resort. just a thought.

mumbai tel : 022-2636 6251
            : 022-5693 8776 faxfon
roaming    : 98690 12351
Aug 5, 2005
this has reference to mail from sudhir badami's excellent analysis and inamdar's comments thereon. 

i fuly agree with sudhir but for the important miss out on choking of drains due to plastics, that the CM has not banned. if not more, i would place at least 30% blame on indiscriminate plastic bags that choke up escape routes of drainage systems, be they stormwater drains or sewer drains.
i also agree that mithi is not the only river responsible. there are other rivers too. unforunately they drain catchment area water only during monsoons and are not perennial. due to greedy inhabitants, the river span has narrowed and due to silt and garbage, depth has been shallowed.

no, we need not blame johny joseph for the catastrophe. with present system, no one else would have done better. had he unlimited powers to spend any amount on removal of garbage and dead animal disposal, i am quite sure he would have pressed all available garbage trucks reqisitioned even from places like surat and vadodara. all available BMC garbage trucks plus mumbai contractor trucks were not enough to lift all the rubbish in a jiffy.

what no one thought was the size of calamity that would hit mumbai. it is  claimed that such rain was not seen in hundred years but i dont know whether
even before 100 years, if a catastrophe struck mumbai.

density of population, court stays on removal of hutments, political patronage to slums for vote bank - CM has been striving to remove post 1995
slums but there is lame response.

mahanagar gas company, MTNL, Hughes and Tata Indicom, BSES, cable operators, water conection contractors, VSNL fibreoptic Data
cables and others are constantly digging roads and building heaps, private clubs raise very high spped breakers, storm water drans are used for storage of rubbish and even salable goods. who cares for mumbai?

finally fault is of all of us. we have increased population, allowed slums to encroach, used plastic bags, patronized hawkers, allowed expansion of
airport by reclaiming mithi land, built underground cellars, built tall compound walls, allowed buiding scrap to be offloaded in creeks & mangroves 
and have been tolerant of inefficiency. why blame MC?. he too is human. all of us are equally to blame.

if we want MC to be responsible, let us give him full powers. remove corrupt corporators from his neck. let there be no political interference. it is sad
that political party offices stand today on many pavements - so are temples. costs few thousand to obtain stay on demolitions.
ramesh wasudeo" <
mumbai tel : 022-2636 6251
            : 022-5693 8776 faxfon
roaming    : 98690 12351
August 25, 2005
Dear Sudhir,

I do agree that it doesn't make sense to hold one person responsible for the cumulative activities of last decade, that led to the Mumbai deluge. While
the top officials may be well meaning, I have my own doubts about the sincerity of efforts from MCGM as an organization. There is a huge amount of
dead and rotten wood in this organization that needs to be done away with to make this organization more efficient and pro-people and this can only be
done at the highest level. I feel, if anything has to be done to improve the situation, its restructuring/revamping MCGM and not just removing one
As regards the deluge of 26th, I firmly believe that desiltation of Powai (for wich 6 crores were sanctioned by the Center and were squandered only on
cosmetic aration of lake water which evaporated off in the summer) and Vihar lakes could have reduced the intensity of the impact considerably (in terms of duration and levels of flooding) by allowing much less overflow of water towards Bandra/Kurla areas. We should realize that all the rainfall that the whole catchments of these lakes received was diverted to the Kurla-Bandra areas immediately after filling up of these heavily silted/shallow lakes.
This is one important aspect that has not been a focus of any of the reports/discussion so far and I sincerely hope, the `fact finding committees' explore and attend to in future.


-Arun Inamdar ( )
Aug 25, 2005

Sudhir Badami <

Do we have to make a scapegoat of Mr Johnny Joseph? A city that got paralysed because of doings and non-doings of so many others in the Goernment of Maharashtra and Municipal Corporation and barely coping up with the aftermath cannot justifiably pinpoint blame on one individual. Please read through following lengthy discourse and respond. 

Sudhir Badami ( )
Aug 24, 2005 

Name: Binal zaveri
Organisation: Times of India
Telephone: 9820328739
Subject: special report
Message: I'm Binal Zaveri from Times of India. We're doing a special report on disaster management for which we're listing various volunteering
opportunities for people who're so inclined. 

What I need is more information with a focus on what a volunteer can do - how, where, what it entails etc.

Also, if you can put me through to people who've done some good relief work in the deluge, it'll be great. we're looking for some 1st hand accounts.

Aug 24, 2005
Complete collapse of Governance in Maharashtra

The deluge in Mumbai and its environs on July 25 and 26 may have been an act of nature. But the shocking incompetence of the state government and the total lack of coordination among the administration, civic and police officials alone is to be blamed for the incalculable loss of precious human lives and property.

To draw public attention to these measures that are crying to be undertaken, Citizens for Justice and Peace organised a press conference. The well-attended press conference was addressed by Mr. Cyrus Guzder (Trustee, CJP), Mr. D.M. Sukhthankar (former Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai and former chief secretary, Government of Maharashtra), Mr. Titoo Ahluwalia (Trustee, CJP), Rahul Bose (Film Actor), Teesta Setalvad (Secretary, CJP), Dolphy D’Souza (President, Bombay Catholic Sabha), Sumita Kulkarni (Sr. Manager, Child Relief and You-- CRY), and Chayyabehn Megear (President, All India Human Rights Citizens Option).

The following is the press release issued at the press conference by Citizens for Justice and Peace:



Mumbai city, Raigad District,  many other parts of the Konkan and now other parts of Maharashtra have received exceptional rainfall on 26 July 05 and for almost a week there after. Since the last two days the overflow of the Koyna and other dam have plunged other areas of the state into crises.


However, within a few hours of the initial cloudburst on 26 July, when the first 20-25 cms. may have fallen, large parts of the city, including its major road arteries, railway corridors, the Airport and large tracts of residential areas, became severely waterlogged. Not only was there large damage to property, dislocation of civic life and unimaginable loss of life. The waterlogging of the city and its environs, the interruption of power supply and telecommunication and the loss of life continued well into the 6th day after the first downpour.


Several questions need to be posed to government. Citizens across the city, at all income levels and cutting across all professions and occupations, are outraged at the government’s indifference and callousness in its failure to answer them, as also at the incompetence and lack of coordination in dealing with the effects of the city’s flooding.


The questions are:


1. Why does the city become waterlogged – to the extent of completely dislocating all civic life – within the first few hours of a heavy downpour? (Such downpours will occur in every monsoon. The government is deluding itself by saying that this is a once in a century disaster).



2. Why , when for 24 hours, citizens had to endure danger and hardship of waiding through 45 feets of water – much of it filthy- was no policemen, fire brigade officials or man of the city administration visible to guide ordinary mumbaikars?


3. Surronding areas of Mumbai like Mumbra, Kalyan, Ambernath and Badlapur apart from villages in Raigad, Roha and other Konkabn districts have homes of peoples under water for over a week. Why has Army has not been sought to airlift marooned persons and/or reach food packets, water and medicines to persons under distress in these areas?  


4. Why has the government, which includes all wings and agencies of the state and central governments and the municipal corporations, done so little to relieve the hardships of the citizens during this period? (Garbage not cleared: drains not de-clogged; animal carcasses not removed; traffic police absent or helpless; electricity not available in large parts of Greater Mumbai for four-six days after the initial blackout, etc.)


5. Why were the sluice State of dams at Badlapur/Kalyan opened twice on Wednesday night (July 27th, 2005) and thereafter without evacuation of residents at Diva, Kusa, and Mumbra? (Over 150 are fear dead because of this lapse) (Chiplun town on the Konkan coast has been submerged in 15 feet of water since last night after the Konkan dam overflow)


6. Why was the Maharashtra Government’s well-publicised “Disaster Management Plan” not put into action immediately, i.e., on 26th evening when a crisis group had apparently met with the C.M. to discuss the alarming situation in Raigad?


7. Why did neither the State Government, nor the Municipal Corporation, set up a Disaster Management Team, headed by a single empowered individual – (Chief Secretary, Municipal Commissioner, or even a Cabinet Minister) – to take charge of the situation, coordinate all relief activities, brief the press frequently everyday and use all channels of the media to communicate directly with citizens?


This Press Conference is being convened to place the issues before the public and to propose a series of immediate, as well as medium to long term, actions steps requires to be taken urgently, to prevent a recurrence of such a disaster.


Among the demands of our Group are the following:


1. Government must take IMMEDIATE steps to bring relief to the doorstep of those who have lost their homes, their means of livelihood and who are now without drinking water and food; and are exposed to sickness and disease. Where areas continue to be underwater, why has the government not taken action to drop relief and food packets by air?


2. There is an immediate danger of epidemics and water-borne diseases spreading, as access is denied and animal carcasses and garbage remain uncleared. An immediate operation “clean-up” should be carried out; and medical and para-medical teams must be deployed to carry out mass inoculation and distribution of basic drugs and medicine. By now government should have pro-actively mobilised all NGOs to team up with municipal workers in the badly affected areas.


3. The Chief Minister should, without delay, nominate a senior person – (whether senior bureaucrat or political leader of cabinet rank) – to coordinate and lead the work of relief and rehabilitation; and restoration of all services. He should brief the press twice a day; and address the public at large day by day on the action being taken.

He should also be available to interact with group of citizens everyday, at fixed times, so as to receive direct feedback and ideas for better execution of the operations.


4. Less urgent but of absolutely critical importance are two further actions in the matter of projects:


4.1 An urgent study to be carried out by expert professionals on the city’s Drainage System; and the Maharashtra Government to revive long pending projects proposed by the World Bank to give Mumbai an effective Storm Water Drainage System (Known as “Project Brimstoward”).


Such a study will undoubtedly reveal that all the unplanned, and ill-planned construction activities of the last two decades has severely interfered with, and reduced the effectiveness of, the city’s drainage system.


Citizens will also have to exert every possible pressure on the BMC early next year to undertake a massive and effective operation to unclog the current drains of the city before the next monsoon.


4.2 A number of pending proposals to upgrade equipment and improve the technical facilities and manpower in the India Meteorology Department at the Colaba Observatory must be implemented. The State Government must pressure the Government of India into sanction this expenditure so as to improve to predictive capability of the I.M.D.


5. Finally, we propose that a number of NGOs in the city join hands to prepare a WHITE PAPER / CITIZENS’ REPORT on Mumbai’s Disaster Management Crises. For this a series of public hearing will be held before a panel of independent experts/retired judges of unimpeachable integrity. The hearings will be held in public with the media present. The evidence taken on record will form a document that will serve as a Citizens Agenda for the City and State Government to act for the future improvement of the civic infrastructure of Mumbai.


Citizens for Justice and Peace

Teesta Stelvad

Aug 22, 2005

Plastic industry has a waste responsibility it doesn't acknowledge

Company :All India Plastics Manufacturers Association A-52, Street No.1, M.I.D.C., Marol, Andheri (east) Bombay 400 093 Tel :28217324 
Fax :2821-6390

Almost a staggering one billion plastic bottles of mineral water, soft drinks and so on were used in India last year. They now line gutters,
railway tracks, the backwaters of Kerala, the sandy beaches of Goa and Himalayan hillsides. Not collected. Not recycled. As we have lost our trust
in the water available, bottled water has become the staple drink for all those who can afford it and along with it has comes plastic litter. Plastic
mineral water bottles account for merely 15,000 tonnes of the 2 million tonnes of plastic waste, which is being generated in India currently. And
yet all the plastics industry can tell us to do is not litter, instead of implementing systems to deal with the problem.

Over the years the plastic lobby has managed to hijack all attempts to come up with a comprehensive plastics waste management policy. Carry bags became a big issue nationally; they were everywhere, along railway tracks, on hillsides, on agricultural fields and even in cow's bellies. Yet all the
response elicited was a weak rule forbidding thin bags to be used for food! No sign of how this would be done and who would do it. Are we then going to make policy based on individual plastic products instead of examining the need to comprehensively look at plastics as a material?

Whenever plastics waste is mentioned, the mammoth multibillion rupee industry calls to its rescue the poverty stricken - the lowest rung of the labour market - the 40-rupees-a-day, ragpicker. He/she is exalted and glorified as doing a wondrous job of recycling over 60 per cent of the plastic municipal waste. It is ignored that most of the millions of ragpickers in India probably aspire to healthier, safer and better-paid livelihoods. However, not hollow praise but safer and more technically sound recycling is needed. It is forgotten that the poor ragpickers are in reality subsidising the rich industry, while themselves following humanly degrading livelihoods.

Why do multinational companies, selling international brands of soft drinks, follow laws which make it mandatory for used plastic bottles to be collected
and recycled abroad, but actually refuse to do the same here? The National Task Force on Plastics set up between 1997 and 1999, ironically accepted the industries categorical refusal to 'take back' used bottles even though systems like the 'Green Dot' in Germany and the US force them to do so.

The industry is, as a solution, pushing hard to bring in unsafe high cost technologies like incineration, since it apparently makes the waste disappear but in fact gives rise to serious air pollution and ash disposal problems.

To deal with past failures, the government has currently set up a new committee under Justice Ranganathan Mishra. Though one cannot ask for a
better person than Justice Mishra, to deal with such a contentious issue, once again the government thought is best to leave out any pubic interest
representative from the group, while including the plastic industry as a member. It will be a challenge to this committee to see the problem in its
entire magnitude and not be caught in the crossfire. 

The Committee has been examining the issue of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which necessitates the plastics industry to safely
dispose plastic waste instead of limiting its responsibility to the point of sale. Some little token progress has been made with the industry being
forced to set up collection centres for mineral water bottles, but this needs to be translated into an overall plastics waste management policy,
with the industry investing in the setting up of adequate recycling centers, which process the waste back into high grade raw material.

Even from their market image viewpoint, the industry need to sit up and listen to the distraught consumer and the impoverished ragpicker.

"If we fight, we may not always win, but if we don't fight, we will surely lose."

Save--our-- Mumbai 
Aug 20, 2005
"Fact Finding Committee" & the "Concerned Citizens' Committee" to investigate the Mumbai Disaster-----


         It is a good news for Mumbai City  &  Mumbaikars ,that two committees will be looking into  the How, Why ,What ,Who ,When &  Whereabouts of the recent Disaster.
       It was nice to know that  prominent activists have been nominated in both  Committees to investigate, put the blame and recommend action, so as
to prevent a recurrence of 26/7 Floods / Disasters. 
     There is one suggestion to the members of the two committees appointed ("Fact Finding Committee" and the "Concerned Citizens' Committee" ) to
investigate and pin-point blame on the cause and aftermath of the 26/7
floods :-
    The Committees should  prepare Questionaire  and "question" every elected Corporator and the MLA of Mumbai as to what action (or inaction),or
role  did they take / play , so that the anti-Encroachment laws were enforced by the law-enforcement agencies, that Mangroves would not be destroyed, that Shanties do not come up on public opens spaces, that Mithi river does not get polluted by raw sewage / industrial effluents / garbage,
unauthorized dereservations of our playgrounds / no-development zones / recreational grounds / gardens etc. do not take place.  And what went wrong
? And who are the OFFICERS responsible for this MESS ,so that such Bueracrats/ officers get penalized for not implementing rules such as BMC
Act, CRZ laws, MRTP Act ?

On studying the replies (among other things) the Committees should study and point out who all have failed in their duties and demand dismissal of those politicians / officers who have neglected their  legal / fundamental duties for whatever reasons.

We request you to put our suggestion to the Chairman of  Committees. 
Thank you.
(Madhu Sawant ) & other
Residents of Shivaji Park Dadar , Mumbai 
Mumbai Rising " A Film be made on Mumbai - Disaster , to Educate everyone :- Bollywood Do this

It is heartening to note that for once the film fraternity has come on single platform to make the Government answerable to the cause and aftermath
of the Torrential Tuesday by filing a PIL.  Such a wealth of talent in film making agreeing on one agenda can work wonders if a film is made on this
so-called natural disaster. Rarely, if at all, a film has been made in India, which highlights a natural disaster such as torrential rains, earthquake,droughts, cyclones, climate change etc.  In contrast, foreign films have been made on fire ( "Towering Inferno" ), floods, earthquakes ,Sea-wreck ( Titanic ) etc.

     Films if made on Disasters, that could be a future reality in India such as Floods, Tsunami, Earthquake, Global warming, ozone depletion, melting of snow caps and glaciers etc. would help galvanise the public opinion if the reasons for it's occurrence, natural and man-made, are put forth in it's storyline. This would serve a dual purpose of entertainment and education of the masses as to how violation of the laws of nature, greed of the powers-that-be, the builder-politician nexus, rampant urbanization, deforestation, abuse of power, non-implementation of laws and apathy of the citizens could be a lethal recipe for catastrophe.

     One hopes the film people would take that one important step  further, as now it has better access to filming equipment, techniques and talent,  to
enlighten the citizens on measures to be taken to prevent or even buffer the impact of such natural disasters and also how to make the Government
accountable to the people.

 Thank you.

"If we fight, we may not always win, but if we don't fight, we will surely lose."

Save--our-- Mumbai 
August 20, 2005
This message is on behalf of volunteers and NGO activists like ourselves who are straining to catch sight of Corporate Mumbai in the ongoing efforts for relief and reconstruction in the wake of the floods.
In contrast to the high visibility of the industry heavy-weights during the pre-flood 'Mumbai Ko Shanghai Banao' campaign, their silence at the time our
city needs them most is painful. The real heroes of Mumbai have instead been the local groups (yes, slum dwellers), smaller businesses and some
exceptions like the Tata Group or General Mills, who have come forward to aid the cause. 
Please read this as an appeal for further investigation into this corporate vanishing act.
- Manish Sharma, Phoebe Simon & Lysa John
Organisation: YUVA
Telephone: 24116394
Aug 18, 2005
Residents of Slums in Andheri (W) have not received any help from BMC
Residents of Goni Area and other slums have not received food and other medical goods distributed by BMC and in other areas there has been uneven distribution the officials did not check any details and went ahead distributing the goods and gave the material to even people not affected by floods
Roshni Oliveria
August 16, 2005
Leptospirosis, pvt hospitals and nursing home figures not available

The deaths being quoted due to Lepto are only from the BMC hospitals but there are no records of the deaths which have taken place in the private hospitals and nursing homes. There are 150-odd private hospitals and 1000 of nursing home in the city. BMC has added Lepto to the list of notifiable diseases even after five days only 8 pvt hsospitals have sent reports. Due to this reason the true picture of the extent of outbreak remains elusive.

So the private hospitals and practitioners should report the cases to BMC

* Leptospirosis was identified in 1915
*The first human infection of Leptospirosis was first reported in India from Andaman Islands in 1929. It came to be known as Andaman haemorrhagic fever 
*By 1980, reports of leptospirosis started appearing in sporadic cases in the states of Maharashtra, Karanataka, Gujarat and Bihar 
*In 2000 Mumbai saw an outbreak of fever cases that were later attributed to leptospirosis

Basic information
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that when not treated within an appropriate time, can cause organ failure and jaundice.

The bacterium has an incubation period between 5 to 21 days and hence has been considered as a strong suspect for the cause of the reported

Early symptoms are fever, chills, muscular aches and pains, loss of appetite, and nausea when lying down. These can easily be mistaken for influenza, menengitis or the classic physician's excuse, 'FUO' or Fever of Unknown Origin.

Later symptoms include bruising of the skin, anaemia, sore eyes, nose bleeds and jaundice. The fever lasts for approximately five days, then a significant deterioration follows.

While the onset of symptoms is rapid, the disease,  can  be treated with antibiotics. Treatment is effective only if it is started rapidly after the first symptoms develop. 
According to the Leptospirosis Information Center, at

"While resident population in the Indian subcontinent has a statistically higher immunity, due to childhood infection or placental antibody transfer, there are many pathogenic serovars of leptospira, and immunity to one does not prevent infection from the others. Nobody is immune to the disease as a whole, and the serovars found at a selected location can change over time as host populations change. The highest concentrations of cases will always be in developing countries where wet farming and rodent populations combine."
Aug 16, 2005
Re: The power needs to flow back...15th meeting can be the starting point

Surat is still the best in India according to an India Today report in their issue of about 2 months ago! They had 15 public gardens then, now they have 
65; all Supreme Court guidelines re Garbage are being adhered to only in Surat and in no other city in India; etc. etc. Check it out. I will try and get you the date of the issue. Regarding "Mumbai needs a single point authority, called the Mayor." I don't agree.

I believe we have to work within the given constitutional & legislative framework in the beginning as the resistance to change from those very people who we are holding responsible for the mess will not allow us to move forward quickly.  The idea will get killed even before we begin. 

The Ward Committees are what we have to begin with and make them a success in a truly inclusive sense. There is already resistance to this from most
corporators & it will need a lot of confidence building measures between the politicians and the citizens before any meaningful work can take place. Many lessons will be learnt too in the process and hopefully lead us quicker to the next step.

I don't think we are evolved as a nation/state/city for the Mayor scenario. Perhaps in the future. There needs to be a step 1, which could be a District
model minus the judiciary, which must remain independent. Step 2, the Mayor perhaps, could be some years down the line when the rest of the steps  such as ward committees etc. have reached maturity. Will try and explain tomorrow. My thoughts are still fuzzy. See you tomorrow.
Nayana (
August 14, 2005
Dear friends,
Surat has gone back to the dirty city it once was !
Cosmetic, panic, knee jerk reactions are not solutions, nor is anger and ranting and raving. It is time that citizens came together and worked in a concrete, planned, optimistic and constructive manner using collective assertion.
It is just not a Mumbai problem, it is a systemic governance failure and could have happened anywhere in India. But let us take up the challenge in Mumbai and redesign Mumbai governance system as a test case.
So, what is wrong with the current state of affairs?
  • Multiple authorities and faceless bureacrats with partial powers
  • The State govt has its finger in the city municipal governance without being answerable or accountable
  • State appoints BMC Commisioners and AMCs
  • State has multiple parallel organizations like PWD, MSRDC, MMRDA, MHADA etc with freedom to do as they please without being answerable.
  • Executive head (Commissioner ) is just a faceless bureacrat and not accountable to the people, answerable to the CM who is elected in rural Maharashtra
  • MBPT, Airport Authority, Railways, Defence, Collectorate have large chunks of land unaccountable to the BMC
  • Administrative wards of BMC in some case has a population of over 11 lakhs, thus almost impossible to govern.
  • No genuine citizen representative in any committee.
What are the amendments that are proposed?
  • Mumbai needs a single point authority, called the Mayor
  • That authority should have power and control over all functions presently performed by PWD, MSRDC, MMRDA, MHADA
  • MBPT, Airport Authority, Railways, Defence, Collectorate to be accountable to BMC as far as Municipal Services are concerned
  • That authority to be directly elected by people and thus accountable to the people directly.
  • Power needs to flow to the people - BMC to be divided into 227 wards (same as corporator ward) with each having its own ward committee
  • Each Ward Committee to have the locally elected corporator as the Chairperson

  • Ward Committee will comprise of one representative elected from each polling booth (average 35 ). So, now citizen representatives are on an average - 1 elected rep and 35 citizen reps.
  • These committees to be empowered with specified functions, functionaries and funds, necessary for localised good governance.
  • These citizen centric committees to monitor, audit, prioritize and control funds, works and municipal staff.

When we meet at 10 am on Monday, the 15th August at St Xaviers School, outside Vile Parle Station West, this and other issues will be discussed and action plan prepared.  

Please be on your seats by 10 am. 
Mayank (
August 13, 2005
We and Calamities

Crises are part of life, calamities come everywhere and so was in Maharastra. We cannot stop them, nobody can stop them, Shotguns like US, Japan and EU too face these undesired guests. But and the big But, we can always manage to come out of these with least damage. Are we prepared? Definitely not. Truly speaking no one is prepared, not even US can claim of  having perfection.

I remember when I was in one seminar on same in Pune and onsite stories as well as slides were more horrible than we can imagine. 
There are few societies which are working on Disaster but these are least known and in fact too less to help us, at least the damage in last 2-3 
disasters prove this. 

Need for help is a reactive operation but why don't we come up with some proactive solution. Each and everyone of us is responsible for any  incremental damage because calamities are made more severe through our day-to-day activities eg throwing polythene here and there which blocks
drainage system, encroachment which makes escape difficult (both for us as well as water, air, fire etc), pollution which gives birth to irregular heat
waves, weak structure (eg corruption in making buildings) which falls here and there after a little bit of flood or earthquake etc etc.

There is no limit for such follies that is killing us everyday with every new calamity. But we shout and shout, never stop this. We never stop as it somewhere hurts our interest. We feel shameful in carrying cotton bag to market, we love to move forward few meters to make our home so that my, big my, home can be bigger and more outward etc etc. 

Few people love calamities. Just look on Food grain market price level in Mumbai. Few cruel merchants enjoy such moments. Few administrators and
politicians too enjoy such moment. Instead of writing these let me attract you towards some solution. 

As far as my knowledge and discussion with few people attached with disaster management goes, its Communication System which breaks first and eventually it breaks everything. Communication does not mean only Phone wire, it includes Coordination and the network of flow of instruction.

Business Gurus say at the time of crises a leader eg Coordinator who can understand and tranfer the information at right place, is critical. If we analyze the past calamities then we may come up that it was lack of proper one point coordination which created more problem. Phone lines, including
wireless and wireline are bound to block due to the very nature of Circuit Switched architecture. At such moments, VoIP phones, emails and other Packet Switched method work efficiently and almost never can be blocked easily. 

It is something which US govt and UK govt too realized during militancy. Please read Sally Richards in The FutureNet where she explains the time of
Sept 11 attack. We are still far away to solve the communication and information problem, we love to jump into such situation and everybody wants to do everything (I mean everybody wants to help but since all work in different direction so nothing happens)   and at the end situation becomes worse.

How to make a proper coordination and information flow, is a big question. Few people are working on this but till proper education at grass root level
is not given, we cannot do better. NGOs are always prime to do such task but more important is that we all at society level think and look for solution. If we can learn in working like a team and putting our self interest away then we can definitely ease the pain of calamities.

Its not onetime show, it needs every time looking for better future. Are we looking..... 
Aug 11, 2005
Diabetics had to have their legs amputated 

Could we have a section on emergency needs of people who need special care - children, senior citizens, the physically and mentally challenged, visually impaired, etc. There was an article on a visually impaired couple that were stranded in the recent flood as people around them had panicked and didn't notice that they were blind. Also, aftermath of the flood - realising that children need help to get over shock and phobias acquired in such cases. Several diabetics had to have their legs amputated because of infection developed from wading through water. 
Janhavi Acharekar
Ph. 022-30953492
Mob. 9820698863
Aug 10, 2005
Who is responsible for the Floods? Whom to blame? Every one of us responsible for it. Why everybody was silent untill disater happend. All these voices are gone where? Each and everybody knew Mumbai  always receives heavy rains.All of us waited till losing life, money ... everything. If we could have realised it little early with the same spirit, we could have fought with govt/BMC for clearing garbage and cleaning drinage perhaps we
could have avoided the terrible tragedy. Each one of us should fight for our rights. We are paying taxes to government for what? where the money has gone? We should ask the account for the money which we paid.
chappalli krishna <> Aug 8, 2005
I agree to what Pritish Nandy has advised regarding stop payment of taxes to the government as it eats away this money or siphons elsewhere without using it for the public.
In addition to this I would like to advise the public to ask for refund of their taxes paid for the last two years as they did not receive the standard
service from the government for which this money was paid. 
We paid life time road tax...and still pay taxs, toll, parking charges for parking on the side of same roads for which we have already paid road tax when purchasing the vehicle. We pay municipal tax for the choked drains and uncleared garbage, etc. 
We pay water tax to receive unclean, unhygenic water. We pay service charges as well as rent to MTNL for dead telephone lines, we
pay additional money for directory enquiry as no directory has been provided. 
We pay sales tax on duplicate material, sometimes sold without bill. Most of the furniture shops in Mumbai, Thane, Ulhaasnagar never give bill and
continue to sell furniture openly without fear. 
We pay tax on interest earned on our hard earned savings, fixed deposits. We pay tax on withdrawing money (Rs. 25,000) from our own account !! We pay tax, tax, tax, and tax, till we least death is free from that a pearson can die peacefully.
DEMAND REFUND OF YOUR TAXES..... this is the right time. 
Best regards,
Arun Saxena
International Consumer Rights Protection Council
Tel: (022) 25972605
Discussion group:
Aug 8, 2005
The Municipal Commissioner keeps talking of a 'hundred year old sewage system created by the british'. He forgets that we Indians have been running the city for almost 60 years- 40 years more than the British. And we did not take care of the sewage system. 
His residence is in an area which did not get water logged. And he is serviced by the 100 year old sewage system!! The worst affected areas were Kalina etc which probably did not exist 60 years back. 
Mr Johny Joseph should change his song. , Aug 8, 2005
Yes the fault was the governments as well as the BMC as well as all the beauracrats. 
But the bigger fault was mine and yours and will continue to be so till we change our methods. 
Do not throw rubbish out of your window, there are ways to get them collected to be carried forward to the right places for disposal.
Use as less of plastic as possible, it still remains non - degradable. 
Do not tolerate half measures from agencies like the BMC etc. throughout the year, complain and complain again till deaf ears are opened and the job done as it should have been in the first place, that's only one of the ways emergencies can be well avoided. 
Educate people - India can again be no. 1. 
I remain, ever in the service of music, 
kishor., Aug 7, 2005
Floods - Enough is Enough

The rot is deep & will only get Corrected by all standing up & demanding: 
- Enough is enough
- Non Pussy footing but demanding - Get rid of Tainted - at entry & also, all, now in Power. Politicians firstly also gullible Civil Servants - no Indian will now wait for appalling delays in Courts as Anger has reached the Tipping Point. 
- Already Thinkers / Nationally spirited are debating pros & cons of a National Govt, retaining only best thru Agni Pariksha & dumping the rest for Good. 
GenNext 540 Million facing a Jobless future strong demands back up Infrastucture Today not in 2020! 
Promod ( August 07, 2005
Often certain categories of people who have special needs get left out when the urgency and stress is on mass relief and rehabilitation activities. 
If you can send a checklist of special needs of special groups e.g. pregnant women, we could circulate that. It is often not obvious.
Aug 6, 2005
Do give feedback on the difference it has made, after Tata's have adopted L ward - Kurla - to help in the flood relief and rehabilitation. Aug 6, 2005
The Municipality is being governed for the last 4 decades by Shiv Sena the local regional party. Except for making flyovers for obvious reasons, the
administration has not done anything worthwhile. They have not improved the roads, they have done little to hand back the footpaths to pedestrians, they have not removed the slums by giving the slum-dwellers alternative accommodation, they have not removed illegal occupants from the footpaths and roads, they have not improved water supply system, they have not dug new lakes and ponds for conservation of rain water, they have not improved the drainage system, they have not improved the dilapidated buildings by replacing the same with nice new buildings around the roads, they have not improved the transport system. Nothing they did. Municipality should be answerable for the utter failure in all the fields. They could have done a lot. There is no point in holding Govinda or Vilasrao responsible for the sorry plight of the city. The Shanghai or Singapore dreams will be possible only when we have a responsible and responsive Civic Administration. The talk of making Mumbai as a separate state or country is no solution for the many ills of the city. City should be ruled with dedication and with an iron hand. We, the Mumbaikars, should make a case that since Mumbai is contributing a major chunk of its tax collection, it should be allowed to keep 50% of the total collection for making better infrastructure and moderisation of its water supply, garbage disposal systems, efficient public transport system, making wide roads and side roads /relief roads for easing traffic and constructing walkways and gardens and beautifying beaches. Let us all work together to make this city great and truly world class and global city as suggested by Fali Nariman.
Dr Aboobakar Thwahir, Mumbai.
Secretary General
All India Letter Writers Association
August 05, 2005
News posted by  

HUM HINDUSTANI: Disaster and development —J Sri Raman

Democracy will not make the issue of developmental priorities easy for the rulers to ignore. A striking illustration of this was the ignominious failure of the ‘India shining’ slogan on which Bharatiya Janata Party contested the last general election

Disaster, like death, ought to be a great leveller. But, in a developing country, it seldom is. Most often this only shows, to use a phrase popularised by the endless debate about economic reforms, how far from a “level playing field” the affected place is.

The rain-wrought havoc in Mumbai over the past two weeks was, in one visible respect, a leveller of sorts. The publicised victims of the deluge included prominent Bollywood celebrities. As widely noted as the rainfall figures were the facts that Amir Khan was stranded in a gridlock for three hours, that Govinda was so trapped at home as not to visit any part of his electoral constituency and, to crown it all, Amitabh Bachchan, Big B himself, had to go without a bath for three days and keep the producers of Kaun Banega Crorepati cooling their heels.

All this knowledge of tinsel-town travails, however, failed to elicit popular forgiveness for the man-made addition to the natural calamity. The upset shooting schedules of the film stars were hardly comparable to the myriad ways in which the calamity turned common lives upside down. The satellite map of the city under floods showed what a non-leveller the disaster was.

South Mumbai, the abode of the affluent, remained the least affected part of the city through the long ordeal. The worst hit were the slums and shanties in winding, narrow lanes, where fear and the rumours it bred proved as big a killer as the rains. 

Even as rains continued to lash at Mumbai mercilessly, Sensex, India’s stock market index, soared to dizzy, unprecedented heights. On Dalal Street, the seat of the country’s leading stock exchange, the mood was upbeat even as the toll of human lives mounted almost to a thousand. 

The media has often delighted in talking of Mumbai’s underbelly of criminal mafias. In many places, it was now turning out, India’s financial capital had no civic infrastructure to speak of. The commercial nerve centre of the country had for years lacked an adequate network of drains. It needed only a few days of above-normal rainfall to reveal that. 

This was only the latest of disasters to reveal the distorted priorities of a development strategy. Early last month, the country observed the first anniversary of a major school fire tragedy that had left 100 very young children dead in the temple town of Kumbakonam, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The fire that singed those tender skins — beyond recognition in quite a few cases — was a result, again, of a shocking infrastructure inadequacy. The tragedy shook the nation and made many think of the lesser calamities from the same cause in places of learning across the country. A People’s Report on Basic Education (PROBE), a joint effort by several NGOs, brought out the shocking state of affairs in thousands of roofless, teacher-less schools run by the state. 

The anniversary prompted a similar re-look at the raw deal meted out to the children of the poor, particularly in rural areas. Then too, the situation pointed to the lopsided priorities that governed the distribution of the state’s developmental largess. Tearful anniversaries cannot change things as long as the federal allocation for education hovers around two per cent of the national budget while money is no constraint for military-related and other expenditures of elite-accorded importance.

The message from the December 26 tsunami disaster that struck the country’s coastal areas killing 10,000 had been similar. Much of the havoc then, according to many experts, was the price that the country had to pay for long years of coastal erosion in the cause of the callous rich and corporate-political corruption. It was mainly the poor who paid — with their lives — for a blatant breach of the law of the land that had sought decades ago to ensure protection from encroachment and erosion for the coastal stretch.

Questions about developmental priorities are raised after every such disaster, but only to be forgotten soon after the floods or the fires abate. Coastal regulations are no longer a catchy issue for the media. Safe schools may not provide a subject for public debate until the next Kumbakonam anniversary. And the tragedy of Mumbai — which drew more detailed coverage than even the tsunami, for happening in the financial capital — is unlikely to inspire a less iniquitous civic vision on the part of the government.

For the suffering citizens, it does not take a tragedy of such magnitude to make the subject topical. Disaster or no disaster, democracy will not make the issue of developmental priorities easy for the rulers to ignore. A striking illustration of this was the ignominious failure of the ‘India shining’ slogan on which Bharatiya Janata Party contested the last general election. After Mumbai and similar tragedies, the talk of India as an ‘economic superpower’ may sound to many people like a similar affront. 

The writer is a journalist and peace activist based in Chennai, India
How safe are the dams of Vihar, Powai and Tulsi lake ? Is it permissible to have a large body of water over your head where you live. The Vihar lake is situated at a height of 90 m above sea level while Mumbai's level varies from 0 to 10 m above sea level. This level difference helps in distributing the water to the city by gravity. The vihar lake and it's dam was built in 1840 by the British, the dam is a Masonry Dam and is 166 yrs old. The lake capacity is 44 million cubic meters. The city has almost marched towards the mouth of the Dam. How long can any man made structure last ? Can we take for granted that these Dams will last forever. In case of even a partial dam burst , there will be no warning time for people to escape as the city is very near the Dam and there are chances that most of the population of the city will be wiped out. This will be worse than a nuclear holucast.
I seriously think that the lakes of Vihar, Powai and Tulsi be drained off and emptied . The lakes should be shifted and located far away to increase the warning time. The existing Dams can act as a check dam / Safety dam in case of a Dam burst further upstream., Aug 7, 2005
Reflecting on Mumbai's Nightmare (30-7-05)
A few hours of torrential rain brought Mumbai to its knees. The horror stories are still emerging. Of course, the drainage proved woefully inadequate. Five decades ago, much of the rain would have flowed to the sea, or seeped into the soil, sub-soil and aquifers. But at the rate Mumbai is ‘Shanghaiing’ itself, ten years hence can get far worse. 
The Chinese Deputy Environment Minister in his interview* to the German magazine, ‘Der Spiegel’ (March 7, 2005), confessed: "This ‘miracle’ (of China's economic growth) will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace… In the future, we will need to resettle 186 million residents from 22 provinces and cities. That means China will have more than 150 million ecological migrants, or, if you like, environmental refugees.
“Cities are growing but desert areas are expanding at the same time. Habitable and usable land has been halved over the past 50 years… Five of the ten most polluted cities worldwide are in China. One third of the urban population is breathing polluted air. In Beijing alone, 70 to 80 percent of all deadly cancer cases are related to the environment. Lung cancer is now the No. 1 cause of death… Acid rain is falling on one third of the Chinese territory. Half of the water in our seven largest rivers is completely useless, while one fourth of our citizens does not have access to clean drinking water…”
As for Mumbai, who can deny that massive construction, land ‘reclamation’, destruction of mangroves, wholesale concrete paving of land, obstruction of natural drainage channels, clogging of drains through ever-mounting plastic wastes, … created our water-logging nightmare in the first place? 
Unless we mend our ways – strictly restrict construction, open up paved areas and plant more trees, sharply reduce the use and disposal of plastic – the crisis can well recur. Also needed are sensible water-harvesting systems to divert rain to recharge our groundwater, besides storing some of it in tanks for our drinking and cooking. (Mumbai’s water supply – from Bhatsai and elsewhere – is increasingly polluted by toxic industrial chemi­cals, which are not removed by the normal purification systems in use. Chlorination is no help.)
Do we need terrible floods or water-scarcity, or some other of a dozen possible disasters, to wake up? When will we learn to see environmental concern as not just an irritant to our economic ambitions, or a frilly fad, but as the vital life and death issue it has become? Ma Lakshmi, the goddess of true wealth, resides not in paper-money, bank balances and fancy houses or gadgets, but in healthy, bountiful Nature!
(* The full transcript of the interview can be e-mailed on request. Write to

Purifying the Purifier

The so-called `killer', diarrhoea, is easily tackled by drinking a lot of clean water (or consuming high water content fruits) – thereby enabling the body to flush its toxins without getting dehydrated. But what does one do if the purifier becomes the problem? 
The Sushruta Samhita lists a number of measures, including the use of many plants, for water purification. For example, the seeds of the ‘Nirmali’ or `Clearing Nut Tree' -- fairly common in India -- are cut and rubbed on the inside of rough earthen vessels in which drinking water is kept. 
‘Shevga’ (drumstick) is another natural coagulant that clarifies water turbidity. Its seeds are freshly powdered and stirred in the water -- about 1 seed per litre -- for about 10 minutes. Most of the suspended particles and microbes settle to the bottom in an hour. The clear water at the top (upper three-quarters) is gently drained and filtered through a fine cloth/muslin. 
Seeds of neem, gooseberry (awala), crushed leaves of tulsi/adulsa/neem, banana peel ash, burnt lime-stone, roasted river/sea shells, alum, etc. are also effective in clearing turbidity by precipitating suspended particles and bacteria. Similarly, filtration through layers of gravel, river sand, char­coal, and vetiver (khus) roots, and then keeping the water exposed to the sun for several hours of ‘solar disinfecting’ is very helpful.
Alternatively, if only sea water is available, one may prefer distillation, using a few pots or pans for boiling/evaporating the water, and small plastic sheets for condensing it – a process similar to that of distilling alcohol. Twice or thrice a day, it is also a good idea to squeeze a little lime into water before drinking. This helps restore the alkaline balance of the body, enhancing resistance to dis-ease. (Germs proliferate more in acidic media requiring greater cleansing.) 

[Note: The water purification tips are largely extracted from an Indranet issue edited by Winin Pereira & Subhash Sule, Centre for Holistic Studies. 
Apparently, Ion Exchange is offering 10 gram pouches of ‘Jal Shudhi’ for water purification, using one pouch per 10 litres. But I am not sure if this is entirely herbal/ natural.] 
Aug 4, 2005
I am a student from IISc, Bangalore. I have certain doubts .Please clear it. 
1) The flood in Mumbai is totally because of the lack of proper drainage system and poor city planning. It has became a habit for the Govt to neglect 
such things initially and wake up after the disaster. Why should we pay for Government's mistakes?

2) If same thing repeats (I beg God not to show his anger on innocent lives) next year or in future what NGOs will do? Again start relief activities? Is
it the only solution ?

If the causes are unavoidable like Earthquake or Tsunami (in case of Tsunami casualties can be avoided by establishing proper alarm systems) it is  worth to conduct the relief activities by putting our hands together..

But in this case where the cause could have been avoided , we should protest against the government for its negligence.

How the Govt became alert during 30th July (sending SMS and forecasting well before). They could have done it before 26th disaster too?

I request you ppl to answer these questions.

Vinod KBG 
M.Sc (Engg.)
Dept.of Aerospace Engg. 
August 03, 2005 

At D N Nagar, compensation is a joint effort 
AUGUST 2: While many deluge victims are still disoriented and the Collectorate is yet to send out surveyors to assess the damage caused 
by last week's flooding, one Andheri housing society has already got its act together and offered residents a format for claiming the Rs 5,000 compensation promised by the state government. 

Members of the Shree Ashtavinayak Cooperative Housing Society at D N Nagar have designed a Claim Form to be used by the residents of the 
64 ground- floor houses submerged on July 26. 

"The reason we decided to do this is that many claimants were clueless as to how to go about getting the compensation,'' said advocate Shirish Deshpande, a member of the housing society. Now, instead of individually running around to try and tackle the red tape, we as a housing society can follow it up collectively.'' 

The Shree Ashtavinayak Cooperative Housing Society comprises eight buildings, with eight ground-floor flats each. 

"For immediate relief, we arranged for food packets from a local supermarket,'' said society secretary Kusumakar Prabhudesai. "But we also wanted to help them out with a long-term solution, so we've decided to seek compensation collectively.'' 

Each Claim Form states the name and address of the claimant and lists the items damaged in the deluge, along with the brand, year of purchase and price. The forms also includes a signed declaration of the same. 

Once they are all filled out, the forms will be taken to the Collector's office. Meanwhile, the society is also upset with the compensation itself. Since the average loss incurred by each family is Rs 1.5 lakh, they say, the compensation should be at least Rs 50,000. 

"I lost all my electronic equipment, including my fridge and television, and all my furniture, clothes and books. All in all, that's a loss of at least Rs 2 lakh,'' said resident Madhusudan Mhasurkar (63), an investment consultant. "I'll just about manage to replace my mattresses in Rs 5,000.'' 

Meanwhile, Sitabai Hadkar (65) was still in shock. "I collected every paisa for my electronic gadgets. My husband was a mill worker,'' she said. ``It takes a lifetime for middle-class people like us to get a home in place. What are we to do with Rs 5,000?''  

Aamchi Mumbai/Maharashtra in crisis. Is it Karnataka’s turn now?


Aamchi Mumbai is in great crisis due to the record heavy rainfalls witnessed in the past few days after almost 100 years. At least 900 people have lost their lives in the rainfall, so say the newspapers. The air, rail and road transport services are out of kilt and maybe it will take more than two weeks from now to get to normalcy provided our Malerai god (the rain god) stops showering rains for sometime.


On 27th July, my dear friend Dipti who was returning from her college in Matunga tells me that she spent an overnight walking to her house in Kandivali. There was so much panic and tension among her family members since they had not heard from her till 2 am . A Good Samaritan called and informed her parents that she was safe with her other classmates and was nearly half way through to her house in Andheri.


Another friend Shailesh recalls that he has never seen such a disaster ever before and would never like to. He heaved a sigh of relief only when he was offered a hot cup of tea on his return from the office after a 14 hours walk in the flood of water. A double deck bus (BEST) was under water and there were many good hearted social workers who with angelic compassion came to the rescue of passengers sitting in the bus. The public were not surprised that the government did an absconding act during such a calamity.


The other day I read in a newspaper on how a young footballer came to the rescue of many in his neighbourhood. I am grateful to all such kind-hearted friends who, risking their own lives, helped so many of my fellow Mumbaikars from suffering and death. Hats off to the real-life heroes!


Even today the situation in Mumbai/Maharashtra is bad and it is likely to get worse if our Disaster Management Units do not get their acts together. Well, the buzz is that reel-life heroes have filed a legal suit against the government over its handling of the devastating floods.


Aamchi Mumbai will obviously survive this crisis with some bad and horrendous memories. Now, it seems, the people of Karanataka have something similar in store for them, going by the reports in today’s papers.  A news report says: Reeling under monsoon fury and a burst of flows from Maharashtra rivers, Karnataka on Monday, 1st August, 2005 , sounded a high alert in Belgaum , Bijapur and Gulbarga districts. Maharashtra released nearly 3 lakh cusecs from its reservoirs causing floods at villages across north Karnataka.   The death toll has already reached 84.  What further havoc will be wrecked by nature’s wrath is a thought that vexes the mind considerably.  I end this note with the quote “Learn to see in another's calamity the ills which you should avoid


Anugraha John


Please find attached pictures taken by Rons Bantwal exclusively for Daijiworld News Network – Mumbai (image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5)


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P.O Box 3210 | R.T Nagar
Bangalore - 560 032, INDIA
Mobile:91-94481 92010
Aug 4, 2005
With regard to the recent floods in Mumbai and Maharashtra. I would like to know what amount of money the Government has allocated, to which categories of people affected and what will be the procedure involved in order for those affected to make their claims. Which are the government bodies who will mediate the funds allocated by the Government? This is vital information that needs to ascertained and which needs to be given to those who have lost their dear ones and property.
Is there some way we can access this information, so that the maximum people may benefit from this information.
Thank You,
Cletus Zuzarte (
Don Bosco Development Society
25957153, 9820682740
I fully support Madhu Sawant's views that thin plastic bags are a nuisance to public, environment, especially drains which they block. I find it surprising that every one in media is criticizing everything BUT not a single word against thin plastic bags which are a major reasn for blocked drains. Maybe the plastic lobby blocked it!

Some of the many possible solutions are
1. use of ecofriendly paper-bags (prevalent in pre-plastic bag days)
2. proper disposal systems & fines for people loitering plastic bags (any size)
3. Totally ban thin bags
4. Ask plastic mfrs to install (plastic) bins for disposal in public places and to create awareness ..

Ramesh Patodia (, Aug 1, 2005
The situation at Morarji Nagar, Powai, is grim due to the flooding. The people here are having a harrowing time.....the last report from the area says that a man and a child have been swept away in the current...
Reports also say that if it continues to rain...the sluice gates of Vihar lake will have to be opened which will worsen the situation. The families have food and other provisions but their houses are flooded. 
At the other end, at Aarey Colony the situation seems to be worse.. with people and cattle being swept away in the current. 
I have attached some photographs..of the area. (image 1, image 2, image 3
NITIE, Powai

Minutes of the Flood Relief Meeting


Participants: Times Foundation, MP Mr. Milind Deora, BMC, Police, NGO’s and Corporates


Time: 3.00 p.m.


Location: Times Building 6th Floor


Milind Deora: The meeting started with Mr. Milind Deora speaking about the tragedy. He pointed out the fact that the Municipal Commissioner would take the lead in the Relief efforts. The need for Dumpers and JCP’s was the primary need to improve the cleaning and disposal of garbage, carcasses and silt that has accumulated after the tragedy.


Sanjay Ubale: The Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation took the lead in bringing forward the current needs and situations prevalent. The list consisted of

· No Electricity, which he said they were in constant touch with Reliance and expressed the need for caution in resuming supply because of the possibility of short circuits.

· Water supply, which the government is providing tankers for.

· Carcasses, which is given priority due to the chance of an epidemic spreading.

· Cleanliness, where disposal of garbage and clearance of nulla’s is ongoing.

· Health, which he expressed to be the prime area of help from the non-government and private sector.

The unsafe consumption of water is an issue that was brought up and discussed in detail by Dr. Karande later.

He also put forward requests for people who could provide ambulances and medical attention.  He also suggested that a system be put in place to ensure that people know about testing water and how best to avoid an epidemic.

The discussion on water hygiene was then directed to the mode of communication being the Radio because of its access even in areas where there is no supply of electricity and that Times FM would take that responsibility.

Some schemes already put in place by the BMC and the government.

· Financial assistance for families of the deceased

· Food distribution for the homeless.

· Rehabilitation and financial help for people who have lost their jobs because of the tragedy.

· Upgrading technologies for weather forecasting to improve assessment of disasters in the long term.


Lions Club Kalina: Representatives from Lions club Kalina spoke about their need for Dumpers and JCP’s. They also said they would need assistance in terms of Diesel.


Maya Shahani: She spoke about a list of companies that would help in procuring Dumpers and JCP’s (L&T, Kvaerner, Patel Construction)


Dr. Alka Karande, Deputy Commisioner reiterated the problems of water safety.


ION Exchange:

  • Committed 100000 pouches of 10gm each of Jal Shuddhi a water purifier. 10gms can be used for cleaning 10lts of water.
  • 2500 packets of Srijal - a water purifying equipment.
  • Zero’B – Glasses – Another water purifying equipment for direct consumption of water for the NGOs who are working in the affected areas. 


  • Committed to provide medicines to the affected people. 


  • Committed to provide 50000 packets of ORS, IV Fluids, and 1lakh Chlorine Tablets. 


  • Committed 50000 bottles of  mineral water. 

Jaslok Hospital :  

  • Volunteered to put up health awareness camps.  

Chairman Ms. Indu Jain: She spoke on the need for it truly being a collective effort and the transparency of money flows.


Milind Deora: He ponted out the need for an advertisement in the Times telling people to log on to the Times Radio channel as the official channel. He also allocated the responsibility of registering Private Ambulances and their allocation to Mr. Sanjay Ubale. He said the ambulances could be a focal point through which medicines can also be disbursed.


Vinay Somani Karmayog: He spoke of the special resource centre created on the website that has been created to let people register their needs and offers on the site along with other useful information


Rotary Centre   Mr. Shyamniwas Somani volunteered the help of the 14 centres and said he would speak to his colleagues about the 15 ambulances they have at their disposal.


All India Jain Doctors: Volunteered their services of 1000 doctors for medical assistance.


Art of Living: Volunteered their help in certain areas as well as asked for 10000 phenyl bottles.


Annabel Mehta: Apnalaya’s Director said there would be a meeting at 2.00 p.m. at TISS for coordination of relief activities and expressed the urgent need for Food Clothing and Plastic Sheets. She gave Dina Joshi as the contact person in Apnalaya.


Subrat Ratho: Additional Commissioner of BMC said he would let a person sit in the control room of the BMC. He also said that the primary need is for Doctors and people who could clean the streets.


TISS Volunteered services of 26000 people. TISSalso pointed out the requirements for fuel(Kerosene)


 Florencio D’souza Holy Cross Church Kurla : He said 500 homes have been destroyed and they need food and help in clearing the area. 


The meeting ended with these action points.


  1. Dr. Karande would be official in-charge for distribution of health resources.
  2. Sanjay Ubale would assume charge of Food & civil supplies.
  3. Subrat Ratho would supervise arrangement of dumpers and clothes.
  4. Sanjay and Wendell are the contact people from Times foundation who will form the link between the NGO’s and Corporates with the BMC through Karmayog.
  5. All disaster related information goes to Disaster Control room. 

Telephone numbers of the people given out during the meeting.


Disaster Control Room: 22694747/4725 Fax: 22694719.

Sanjay Ubale: 22027151


[several contact numbers are with me. vinay] (Aug 1, 2005)

Celebrities to file petition against state government (
Mahesh Bhatt, Soni Razdan, Raman Kumar and Vinta Nanda form movement to make state accountable.

Express News Service

Mumbai, July 31: “When I visited parts of Gujarat during the recent floods, I found that their infrastructure was so much better than what Mumbai has,” says director Mahesh Bhatt.

It was after last week’s deluge that Bhatt was drawing a sharp contrast between Mumbai’s “feeble infrastructure” to that of Gujarat during a press conference on Sunday.

This discontent has led Bhatt and his like-minded friends—not all are from the film industry—to file a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court. “The government’s inaction and lax attitude has caused us to make this move,” Bhatt said

“There has to be some accountability of the taxes we pay them,” he said. The petition, which will be admitted on Tuesday, will be filed under the banner of a movement called JAAG India, which is part of NGO Project Smita headed by director Raman Kumar.

“JAAG will act like as a parallel corporation with the government. People will be working all round the year to check if infrastructure is being provided and that there is proper utilisation of funds,” says director Vinta Nanda.

Advocate Majeed Memon who will be representing JAAG India said: “The emphasis of the petition will be on future steps that need to be taken by the state as well as corrective measures in case of such an eventuality. It will also insist that disaster management be in place and the forecast office lead rather than mislead the people.”

On Sunday as the weather bureau forecast heavy rainfall in the city and television channels were informing people about the likelihood of floods, at the Hungama restaurant at Oshiwara, JAAG India members were busy debating about last week’s deluge.

“It’s been just four days since the downpour. But today, the same problems seem to be coming back to haunt us. The garbage has not been picked up and there is every possibility of an epidemic breaking out. The situation is going to be worse,” says actor Soni Razdan.

The conversation also veered to the Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s dream of turning Mumbai into Shanghai.

“When the government has clearly not invested in basic infrastructure, how will the city become another ?” asks Bhatt.


2601 Cochise Lane
, Okemos , Michigan 48864-2055

Phone 517-333-9273 or Fax 517-337-3883

Sunday, 31 July 2005


Via Fax 011-91-22-2202-9214/2363-1446  


Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh,

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra  
, India  

Respected Vilasrao Ji,


You are the Chief Minister of one of the greatest states of India, namely Maharashtra.  That’s why I am asking you to take immediate action to investigate and reverse the wrong actions taken by the police of Maharashtra.

Mankhurd Women Attacked while trying to take shelter. .  
Confiscated Relief Material from the community Kitchen.  
Transit Colony & SRA —shelter seekers forcibly evicted.  

We are deeply shocked that this has happened under your watch.   I and my family were in Mumbai during the 2004 elections and voted for your Congress Party, but will we vote again for your party?  

Answer will depends on what you do now to help the people and punish the responsible officials

Ever since the unprecedented rains came, we have been twice a day in contacts with the family members and asked them to give temporary shelter and food to the affected people.

While people are helping each other, what is the government machinery doing?
  Please review the situation urgently and make proper arrangements for both temporary and permanent shelters for the worst affected poor people.  

Improve Mumbai’s Drainage System to prevent  colossal loss of life and property of the people  
Ř     Sensitise Police Force of Maharashtra on respecting citizens regardless of their financial standing.  
Undo the Damage Caused to slum dwellers earlier this year by uprooting 800,000.  

Tragedy in
Maharashtra and Mumbai has been widely covered in the United States both in the American Media and the Ethnic Indian Media.  In many stories the failure of the state is high lighted, giving a very poor impression about our state.  

Please take urgent steps to undo the damage and restore normalcy in the life of the affected people of the great state of
Maharashtra .   

I am sharing this letter with Madame Sonia Gandhi of your party in New Delhi
and urging her to give the necessary financial assistance to the state.  

Awaiting your quick action and expecting a favour or your prompt reply which will be shared by many members of Indian NRI associations in the USA.  


Shrikumar Poddar, President ,
India Foundation Inc. 

NSS has a disaster management handbook. 
[If you have a copy, pl inform us at Karmayog. Thanks.] - 1st Aug, 2005
It is commendable to take up initiatives for immediate relief and rehabilitation. 
In terms of long term solutions, it is my view that it will be futile to take actions on such a broad front as had been outlined in your item 2 of the above circular letter. The disaster mainly relates to poor drainage systems in the city of Mumbai. Apparently the city planners had done a miserable job of the related systems and they must be made to look into the matter urgently and work out a master plan which would, when implemented, eliminate the problem of flooding in the city, which occurs even in the regular rain pattern of the region, let alone a torrential downpour of this kind.
Considerable encroachments would have taken place. The government and the people do not seem to consider alternatives to the habitat issue for those people nor do they provide for the occupied spaces appropriate drainage and clearance systems, lack of which render the whole city like a stinking garbage and sewerage dump.
We seem to be mostly interested in quick fixes rather than sustainable long term solutions of the issues involved. This calls for an overall change in the mindset of all concerned people. Mumbai will never become as good as Shanghai with the current state of mindset of every one concerned!!
Dr. S. Satyamurty, (31st July, 2005)
" has setup a free Mumbai flood resource site for info, needs, volunteers, photos, stories. Or call Upadhayay 9820155591. Pl inform all." If you can sms or email this to your friends, it may can help both those who need help and want to help. (31st July, 2005)
In my view, one of the major problems that caused a lot of confusion on Tuesday when the flooding occurred was the failure of the telephone system, particularly the mobile system.
The regulator should take a serious view of the problem and investigate whether the mobile telephone companies have made sufficient investments in disaster recovery systems. Also, it is interesting to note that some of the companies were more seriously affected by the floods than others. Perhaps the regulator should levy hefty fines on the companies who's systems failed during such an emergency.
Can we lobby the regulator to take some action to ensure that such a situation does not occur again?
Arun Diaz, (31st July, 2005)
Would it be possible to file a public interest petition against the tabela owners for the way they kept the animals and the result on the health of the population especially with the carcasses after the floods? They will probably claim insurance and not suffer much. And start the trade again.
Nandita, (31st July, 2005)
Couple of points:

1. several instances of rioting and arson reported. directed against BMC and by irate people who have lost relatives etc. The need is for the public to maintain peace and calm and resort to peaceful agitations (is satyagraha still around)

2. more so, when we are going to start distributing material, it is paramount that it is done equitably and in an organised manner. in nagapattinam, i remember that people were first distributed coupons quitely and only the coupon holders could come and pick up the material. Lists need to be made by each MGO/CBO of the list of people they are serving/affected in a open and transparent manner.

the links to govt resources does not have any addresses or tel number.
ward office information is available form MCGM site as below: 

please also call each number to check accuracy and the name of the ward officer can also be obtained and displayed.
and what are their responsibilities in terms of citizens' requirements.

in the medium term, the BMC has to be prepared for issuing a whole set of the foll duplicate forms:
1. voters card.
2. ration card
3. school leaving certificates.
4. birth certificates.

i estimate this to be a really humongous task.

more later,
Was lucky & unlucky to carry my Sony 828 camera on 26th July 2005.
I did manage to wet it in the rains but i am very lucky its still working!

Scene of Matunga King Circle. I experienced water rising from less than knee deep to more than knee deep in some areas.
I sensed the water rushing into us. We ended up walking from Matunga to Chembur. We had a sigh of relief when we reached Chembur until we realised Chembur was worse!

Yogi Chopra
Web Animation Studio
Tel : +91.22.30973837
Mobile : +91.98203 66313 
It is really a harrowing experience what we see in Mumbai and many other parts of this country. It seems that we dash from drought to floods faster than Ben Johnson. The pity is that even when such events repeatedly remind us of gross misplanning and management we refuse to take cognisance of them. Why take the case of Mumbai? Let me tell you of a small stream in our neighbour hood. It get choked with plants and grass with the result that during the monsoons the flow is not maintained and the neighbouring colonies get flooded. Yes, people have waded through 4 feet of water getting into or out of their houses. But the authorities of the local body never would clear the stream before the onset of the monsoons. The residents of the colonies will run to these people once the floods are on them. And as the water recedes so do their efforts to take corrective actions.

As far as Mumbai is concerned I am sure thre will be no dearth of resources. The governments, both at the Centre and the State, will ensure that things are done expeditiously. Money will not be a problem and even army/navy will be mobilised to put Mumbai back on tracks. But I wish atleast now the authorities will learn that development has to be more balanced throughout the country. It will help not only Mumbai but the whole country.

Regards and best wishes

NEERI had predicted this flooding in black and white

The situation in the slum areas which were demolished since December is absolutely horrific. The TVs have not gone beyond cars stuck on the road - as if the only people in Bombay are the ones who own cars !!!!

What I think one needs to know, I feel , is the real cause of the flooding.
With such a huge sea area around - and rivers too - any amt. of rain, if allowed to drain, would not have caused even an inch of increase in the sea level. So what is holding the water ?
Is it the foot of the Sea- Link bridge made for us motorists that is blocking the mouth of the Mithi River ?
Is it the reclaiming of land for the Sahar air-port, which has prevented the drainage ?
Was water from the dams released at full tide ? If so , why ???

This is part of looking at the truth about " Shanghai". The NEERI report has promised such a flooding in black and white , since years now, yet the projects which it has criticised are on in full swing for reasons other than the good of the public at large !!!!!

I have been trying to contact some media persons to go see and to show / write about what has happened to the people whose homes were deliberately demolished since December 2004. Have they been given the promised rehabilitation? With highways being built at a height, the waters are draining into their houses and they have nowhere to go and nothing to eat.I am told by a no. that they are short staffed / or that they have no time now but will look into the issue later !!!!!! So are we then to be made brain-dead - watching TV which repeats itself and shows us only those areas wh. are the easiest to access.

How is it that determined people trying to reach relief to to the horrendously affected areas can reach - but journalist cant get beyond the roads and the beaten track ?

My full sympathy is with the motorists and people stuck half-way. I too was stuck - but I do think there are deeper issues involved.

We are now trying to collect some money in order to give food relief to the people of Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar in Mankhurd. Main problem is that the banks are shut.This is a slum area of over 2,500 homes.

If anyone wants to give relief in the form of food and plastic:

Please contact : Pervin: 022 - 22184779 / 22185832 / 9820636335
Simpreet : 9323254706
Medha : 9869446684

Volunteers are required as well.

If everyone takes the trouble to look at the needs of the needy people nearest to them, maybe we will have achieved greater steps in humanity than we ever will by building any number of Shanghais.

best wishes,
I am interested to do a short course of six months or one year duration on distant learning system on NGO management or disaster management. Can you suggest reputed institute who provide such facility.
Aswini Kar
I am a graduate student at Rutgers University and Mumbai is my area of study for PhD research. I am working in the field of disasters and low imcome communities and I basically aim at evaluating insurance possibilities for
these communities to provide them with financial security on the event of any hazard. I will be in Mumbai from the third week of July, for the purpose of prelimnary survey before I come back for my main survey. Therefore, in this visit I want to meet and get valuable insights from organization that are working on similar issues in Mumbai.

Can I can visit your organization and meet some of the people involved in disaster/insurance research? If you could give some pointers as to who Ishould meet and their contact information (so that I can set up an appointment with them) I would be really grateful. If you think there are other organizations that I should be in touch with, I would really
appreciate if you could forward me their names too. Any help would be highly appreciated.

Thank you,
Monalisa Chatterjee