Satellite photos reveal how Mumbai killed its rivers and mangrove forests to risk epic floods

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According to Quartz

It’s almost a ritual: At least on one day every year, the heavens above Mumbai open up, and the metropolis of some 20 million below is inundated.

The resultant outrage, inconvenience, and suffering are something of a tradition, with successive governments getting pilloried for their lack of preparedness despite the regularity with which the monsoon paralyses India’s financial capital. Some things never change.

The latest act was on Aug. 29, when Mumbai ground to a near-complete halt once again after parts of the city received 298 mm of rain within a nine-hour period. Five people have died so far, and more rain is expected.

The city’s inability to weather such downpours is a result of a combination of the failure to improve its drainage system and the unbridled development that has stymied the region’s natural capacity to absorb heavy rainfall. The latter, in particular, has mostly been overlooked. As journalist Darryl D’Monte noted in

…Mumbai’s major nullahs form a vein-like network that can extend for an astounding 300 km. These could have functioned effectively to drain water out of the city. But this is a natural legacy that the city authorities have abused, with the reckless sanctioning of building after building, in brazen collusion with builders and venal bureaucrats. By indiscriminately dumping waste in open drains, citizens have also contributed to choking them.

To better understand the impact of the decades of haphazard development, Quartz pulled out some satellite maps of Mumbai from 1988 and 2017.

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This article and images were originally posted on [Quartz] August 30, 2017 at 04:39AM

Credit to Author and Quartz