The Bhowmick family in their Vasai resident : no power since 36 hours!
MUMBAI : For 36 hours, we are facing a harrowing time, said Nabendu Bhowmick (39) a resident of Vrindavan Apartment, Evershine City, Vasai (E). Since Tuesday dawn, at around 0230 hours, we are experiencing no power, and without power, we are also facing drinking water problems also,said Bhowmick, who works as a Deputy Superintendent with the Salt Department, Bhayander.
Since Monday, I have not reported to work, and how could I, he says. I could not have water for bathing, said Bhowmick, and my wife Tista and son, Neel (14) are also facing a life without power and water for nearly two days.
There was confusion, chaos, dismay, and helplessness, said Bhowmick, but what was alive was : the 'Spirit of Mumbai'. As there was no electricity, water could not be pumped up to the overhead tanks of my building, and so was in other housing socieities, said Tista, a homemaker. MY son, Neel, a Std X student did not attend his school at Holy Family School, she said. On Wednesday, after five days of contious rains - recording as much as between 700 to 800 mm in the urban belt of Vasai-Virar, Naigaon, Nalla Sopara and other areas, on Wednesday afternoon there was much relief, as there was less rain, said Bhowmick. Naigaum, Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar, there was some relief rain Gods, however, on ground the situation in this part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) was different.
Said Pandurang Patil, CPRO, MSEDCL, Prakashgadh, Bandra the power supply was restored partially in phases by Wednesday evening, as we had shut power as a precautionary measure since water entered the Vasai substation and 16 feeders were affected. By Wednesday afternoon Mumbai and Dahanu based trains started moving but with speed restrictions, owing to the flooding of tracks at Nalla Sopara.
The tracks are flooded for two days now," said Bhowmick so there was no question of me reporting to work. It looked as if the Arabian Sea had entered the Vasai-Virar belt, he added as some hamlets were too flooded.
The residents of Vasai and Virar are facing troubles...there is no power for over 36 hours now, since there is no power, water could not be pumped up in tanks except for societies that have generators, there no power means there is no TV and we don't know what exactly is happening, said Tista. The spare power in the inverters conked out after 3 hours, even though we only used the fans and tubelights for a few minutes in turns,she said,so that we could save the emergency power. The power banks also conked out as it became exhausted due to the continuous charging, and worse in some areas, some service providers also was not reachable, she said.
STORES CLOSED,ATMS RUN DRY
Virtually all the shops including grocery, dairy and general stores are closed goneas rain water had entered in, she said. The ATMs have gone dry, as no arrangement was made by the banks to replenish cash in the ATMs, due to the non approach of roads, said Bhowmick and we were just helpless and at the mercy of God. As lifts were not working due to the nonavailability of power, senior citizens were seen using the stairs to reach their flats, despite their illhealth,he said. During the 26 July, 2005, deluge, Vasai has not seen this kind of a problem, said Rahul Bose a neighbour of the Bhowmick family,this time, rain water just stayed there long and did not recede as it used to. and thus created most of the problems, said Bose.We had to forego the FIFA World Cup matches which is in the final stage and also the India's cricket tour of England as Vasai was totally cut off from the world, said Bhowmick. School boys took time out to play football and cricket in the pouring rain, as they had no alternative,he added as schools and colleges in the Vasai-Virar belt were shut and majority of the people could not go to their workplaces. This was the worst experience I had in my entire life,said Bhowmick.
VEGGIE PRICES HIT SKYHIGH
Taking advantage of the downpour, hawkers hiked up the vegetable prices as it was in short supply. Very few shops were open. And the prices of whatever available has touched the roof, said Tista.Fresh milk was not available as the dairies was also shut and making tea or coffee was a luxury she said.
STREETFOOD AN ALTERNATIVE
Pao-bhaji, vada-pavs centers made fast bucks, as Vasaikars crowded these roadside stalls for a quick bite,said Bhowmick. Evenmy family sustained on these roadside snacks as there was no supply and the overnight dinner leftovers got stale and rotten in our fridges,he said. My business has doubled in the last two days, said Mangla Mishra of Shree Sharda vada-pav stall, one of the most popular joints in Vasai (E)! Vada pav is the all time favourite of the common people and they cam to my stall despite the rains, to enjoy the local delicacy,which was a complete meal in itself, said Mishra.
ROADSIDE MECHANICS MAKE HAY
There is a long wait at vehicle repair centres, be it bikes or four wheelers had broken down after being submerged in water for several hours,said Bhowmick who owns a small family car. . Now, I will have pay a bomb to get my car repaired as the rain water has made a mess of the electric wiring, and I shudder the bill my mechanic will present for the repairs, he added.