Breaking NewsEdit CornerOpinion

Mr Thackeray! Mumbai can bounce back

I love Mumbai.

I met my wife in Mumbai. My two beautiful daughters were born in Mumbai.

Mumbai encapsulates everything about India. It is the energy of India.

I breaks my heart to see the vicious onslaught of the coronavirus in Mumbai. And sadly this is only a tip of the iceberg.

I am certain that Mumbai will have a considerable number of asymptomatic cases besides the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases that have been detected. There will be many that will not be detected because they would not be tested.

Containing the spread of the coronavirus in a metropolitan city like Mumbai was always going to be a challenge and it was going to take immense focus by the government to put in place strictures and firm non-pharmaceutical measures to deal with the health crisis.

The current leadership in the Maharashtra government is a farce. It has turned out to be a family venture of strategists and planners when no-one knows the A of dealing with a health crisis coupled with a soon-arriving economic crisis.

Let me be brutally honest Mr Uddhav Thackeray. You are not an administrator. You can occupy your CM’s chair. Get your son to connect with his Bollywood friends to tweet Best CM but if you look at that PR exercise now in hindsight, you have made a complete fool of yourself.

The coronavirus pandemic was the perfect opportunity for you Mr Thackeray to show India that you are a leader of merit and reckoning. A crisis is what brings out the true character of a leader.

I must humbly state that you have turned out to be a complete failure. And I blame you only because it is your own decision to surround yourself with foolish advisors who do not understand health or economic crisis.

Millions of people in Mumbai are in danger. They were in danger from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The simple reason being the transit of people to and from Mumbai through airports, railways and roadways.

I am certain that Mumbai will have many people who will be infected but we will not know until we increase our testing capabilities in the city.

Mumbai being the financial capital of India. You will have many citizens inching to get back to normal life and brace for the economic meltdown. So at some point we would have to open up Mumbai. That is when we will see the real onslaught of the virus. So we need to be prepared for it.

No one understands the nature of the coronavirus. Countries that have manage to control the spread of the virus have done so with strict non-pharmaceutical measures.

Mumbai is like a tiny global nation, with a mind and resistance of its own. We need measures that can be adhered to by the people of Mumbai.

The best trait of a Mumbaikar is that they are sensible and adaptable. They can face the worst tragedy and still bounce back with energy and confidence.

The people of Mumbai need to be trusted. They can win the battle against the coronavirus not the government.

The government can only direct. And your government has been making a mess of the administration in a health crisis.

People need to take charge. Empower the people of Mumbai to be responsible for their city. Set the parameters and see the difference. Mumbaikars will act. They will enforce the measures, so that they can save their city.

I am afraid Mumbai will see a huge surge in cases. It will be the New York of US for India.

3 Comments

  1. When we open the newspaper in the morning, we are faced with the alarming news of skyrocketing numbers of COVID 19 cases in Mumbai and depressing rate of mortality. When we analyse the geographic locations of these cases, the stark reality hits you- most of the cases and deaths are in areas of underprivileged slums and working class areas. We call Mumbai the economic capital of India but fail to analyse why 60% of Mumbai’s citizenry lives in slums. On reflection, the fault lies squarely on the political class that ruled this city and state since independence. All the ruling politicians have milked the city to fill their pockets. Politicians have talked about Roti, Kapda and Makaan to come to power but have done their utmost to deny a decent roof over the heads to the toiling masses of Mumbai by their nefarious designs. One chief minister collected bribe in cash to allocate cement for construction, another allotted multiple flats from chief ministers discretionary quota to his cronies , another illegally captured defence land to build a high rise in Colaba, a posh area and allotted flats to senior officials and his cronies – many of them have been halted after courts intervened but the politicians responsible have always been rehabilitated after a short political Vanavas . All these actions by politicians, aided and abetted by senior officials of various departments, created a black market for residences and kept residences beyond the reach of the average mumbaikar. How do you explain a situation where the cost of a flat, in per sq feet terms, is more than in Dubai or Manhattan, even in dollar terms? Such a price hike can be seen in commodities which are in short supply due to hoarding by vested interests – except that the vested interests were the state , comprising of chief ministers, municipal and state officials and politicians of all hues and all levels. The state refused to release land for housing even when large tracts were available as the powers that be wanted to make huge profits by releasing the land for housing- even Shylock would be ashamed. They used various acronyms to hide their greedy designs- FSI, TDR , IOD, CC, all these short forms are related to the housing industry, coined by the State to hide their evil intentions and legitimised by passing laws with crooked sub clauses. All it needed was to lay a pipeline, connect the sewers and give electricity connection but the State, in its avatar as a hoarder, refused to do this but kept a stranglehold on the land for housing and released in measly quantities so that the ill gotten wealth of the politicians and officials concealed in flats purchased with 60% cash (from their brib money) does not get eroded by fall in prices of flats if large areas of land were released for housing. The officials also passed laws to ensure that their ill gotten wealth is not distributed to societies when they made huge profits when they sold their flats- they capped the transfer fees charged , whatever crores be the profit made in the deal, to twenty five thousand rupees. The result was a perennial shortage of dwelling units in the city. The middle class shifted from Girgaon to Ghatkopar , to thane , to dombivli and to Karjat and Kasara due to these devilish plans by the State authorities. Citizens led a dangerous existence travelling in trains with super dense crush load and their wives spent the whole day praying for their husbands safe return. Lower middle class went from chawls to slums and slum dwellers became homeless, staying in open land or under flyovers when housing cost became unbearable. Then came the Neta who projected himself as a do Gooder who wanted to pull the slum dweller from poverty to prosperity by converting slums to flats- he coined another scam acronym called SRA- in collusion with the housing department and crooked among the housing industry. They conned the gullible masses, pocketed the moolah and vamoosed- the slum dwellers were dispossessed of their shanties, builders never built the houses but collected huge amounts from prospective middle class flat buyers and and disappeared with the money. The neta did not want the slum dwellers to move out as he would have lost the carefully cultivated vote bank and the thugs to do his bidding if the slum dwellers moved to flats in another electoral constituency – hence he played all his tricks to keep the slum dwellers uneducated and dependant on his largesse and to keep them in the same slums.
    Dr Vishwanathan- Sion Mumbai.

  2. When we open the newspaper in the morning, we are faced with the alarming news of skyrocketing numbers of COVID 19 cases in Mumbai and depressing rate of mortality. When we analyse the geographic locations of these cases, the stark reality hits you- most of the cases and deaths are in areas of underprivileged slums and working class areas. We call Mumbai the economic capital of India but fail to analyse why 60% of Mumbai’s citizenry lives in slums. On reflection, the fault lies squarely on the political class that ruled this city and state since independence. All the ruling politicians have milked the city to fill their pockets. Politicians have talked about Roti, Kapda and Makaan to come to power but have done their utmost to deny a decent roof over the heads to the toiling masses of Mumbai by their nefarious designs. One chief minister collected bribe in cash to allocate cement for construction, another allotted multiple flats from chief ministers discretionary quota to his cronies , another illegally captured defence land to build a high rise in Colaba, a posh area and allotted flats to senior officials and his cronies – many of them have been halted after courts intervened but the politicians responsible have always been rehabilitated after a short political Vanavas . All these actions by politicians, aided and abetted by senior officials of various departments, created a black market for residences and kept residences beyond the reach of the average mumbaikar. How do you explain a situation where the cost of a flat, in per sq feet terms, is more than in Dubai or Manhattan, even in dollar terms? Such a price hike can be seen in commodities which are in short supply due to hoarding by vested interests – except that the vested interests were the state , comprising of chief ministers, municipal and state officials and politicians of all hues and all levels. The state refused to release land for housing even when large tracts were available as the powers that be wanted to make huge profits by releasing the land for housing- even Shylock would be ashamed. They used various acronyms to hide their greedy designs- FSI, TDR , IOD, CC, all these short forms are related to the housing industry, coined by the State to hide their evil intentions and legitimised by passing laws with crooked sub clauses. All it needed was to lay a pipeline, connect the sewers and give electricity connection but the State, in its avatar as a hoarder, refused to do this but kept a stranglehold on the land for housing and released in measly quantities so that the ill gotten wealth of the politicians and officials concealed in flats purchased with 60% cash (from their brib money) does not get eroded by fall in prices of flats if large areas of land were released for housing. The officials also passed laws to ensure that their ill gotten wealth is not distributed to societies when they made huge profits when they sold their flats- they capped the transfer fees charged , whatever crores be the profit made in the deal, to twenty five thousand rupees. The result was a perennial shortage of dwelling units in the city. The middle class shifted from Girgaon to Ghatkopar , to thane , to dombivli and to Karjat and Kasara due to these devilish plans by the State authorities. Citizens led a dangerous existence travelling in trains with super dense crush load and their wives spent the whole day praying for their husbands safe return. Lower middle class went from chawls to slums and slum dwellers became homeless, staying in open land or under flyovers when housing cost became unbearable. Then came the Neta who projected himself as a do Gooder who wanted to pull the slum dweller from poverty to prosperity by converting slums to flats- he coined another scam acronym called SRA- in collusion with the housing department and crooked among the housing industry. They conned the gullible masses, pocketed the moolah and vamoosed- the slum dwellers were dispossessed of their shanties, builders never built the houses but collected huge amounts from prospective middle class flat buyers and and disappeared with the money. The neta did not want the slum dwellers to move out as he would have lost the carefully cultivated vote bank and the thugs to do his bidding if the slum dwellers moved to flats in another electoral constituency – hence he played all his tricks to keep the slum dwellers uneducated and dependant on his largesse and to keep them in the same slums.
    Dr,Vishwanathan- Mumbai.

  3. You all must have seen the disturbing TV images of the plight of patients and doctors in Sion Hospital, Mumbai. While highlighting some sordid details about the lacuna in public healthcare , the content exposes the intellectual vacuum and spinelessness of the TV journalist. TV journalism in India is more sensational than substantative- they would rather highlight something sordid, disturbing to view or sensational news than highlight something which is positive or pathway to correction. Has any TV house commissioned a series on the crumbling public healthcare in India, how minuscule the allocation for health infrastructure is, how corrupt and inefficient are the public health officials, both elected and appointed and how these can be set right? I said spineless journalism because the mainstream journalists dare not disturb the cosy relationship between the media house and the government authorities who are responsible to administer this country- lest they lose the job. What we see is only shadow boxing to create a facade of independent journalism so that the viewer is lulled into complacency that someone is taking up their cause. Let’s face the reality- the public health infrastructure in Mumbai has grown two times in 70 years whereas the population has grown over 20 times. Public hospitals are meant to treat the lower strata of society but they dread going to these hospitals as administrative harassment starts the moment a person enters the hospital, from the time he stands in que to get on OPD paper to being directed to the right OPD for his illness to getting the right medicine. TV journalists enter hospital wards or ICCUs with impunity and target the resident doctor there , creating the image that the doctor is responsible for all the ills of the public health infrastructure. The poor doctor becomes tongue tied due to the sudden onslaught of the TV team with an aggressive journalist and cameramen- a situation he has never faced in his lifetime. Moreover, he is afraid that anything that he says will be treated as breaking the service conditions and will be penalised by the authorities – either by suspension or the now frequently bandied threat of suspension or cancellation of registration to practice or terminating his postgraduate course. Let it be clearly understood that doctors at any level, even HODs do not have any power in any hospital- they are vested in the non medical administrators of public health institutions , like IAS officers or ministers. These TV journalists do not barge into their office and question them because there are multiple layers of security to be crossed before they can enter these hallowed precincts and one phone call from these worthies can send them running with tails rolled between legs. Hence the relevant questions never get asked and the rot in healthcare sets in deeper and deeper. If there is no oxygen in the ward- doctor is responsible , if here is no medicines available- doctor is responsible, if there is filth in the hospital- doctor is responsible- doctor becomes the scapegoat for all the failings of the administration and government. If you ask the concerned authorities, they will reel out statistics of the millions of rupees spent but will have no answer for the abysmal condition of the public hospitals. Let it be understood clearly that doctors are not responsible for the abysmal health infrastructure in this country- the blame lies entirely on the political and administrative class ruling India. If at all, doctors and nurses are two pillars holding up the crumbling edifice of Health Infrastrucure in India,
    Dr Vishwanathan- Mumbai

Leave a Reply

Back to top button
X

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker