Are we monsoon prepared?

Monday Musing

[ Karyir Riba ]

The state of our state, right from the onset of the monsoon rains, raises the fear in our minds – is our state monsoon ready? Or has it ever been for that matter.

As soon as it starts showering, we start witnessing inconveniences of all kinds. Be it pre-monsoon or the effect of climate change, we have been facing the brunt of playing with nature. This year has not been an exception, and we have already seen a lot of damage caused due to the rains early on.

Road blockages due to heavy/continuous rainfall are normal in our state. Just as we had started receiving the rains of the year, a huge chunk of the highway from Roing to Anini was washed away, and the roadway was damaged extensively. This created a whole lot of problems for the people of the area, more so for Dibang Valley district, as it was the only roadway that connected it to the rest of the country. The highway was damaged at a few more places at the time.

Come rain and we start suffering from power supply failure. Noted that rain does not come alone but brings with it thunderstorms, but when it is how the weather of our state is, why can’t we erect the power lines in a manner that can withstand such weather conditions?

Why do electrical posts keep falling? Why do trees and bamboo keep falling on power supply lines, disrupting power supply every now and then?

Ironically, we suffer from power failures even when the days are too hot, leaving us fuming from both the unbearable heat, as well as the lack of electricity. Normal people like us do not understand why there is power outage without any storm or rain, and can just assume that maybe the power supply lines have been melted by scorching heat from the sun.

As Arunachalis, we have learnt to be prepared for power failures during the rainy season. We have ourselves covered with generators and invertors to tackle the issue. Sadly, invertors can only charge when there is power supply and even the costliest of the invertors gets exhausted after a couple of days, even after being used judiciously. As for generators, we all know they don’t run for free. They cost money and are not very environment-friendly too.

Another sad scenario created by the rains, causing issues for the people, is water shortage and, sadly, this situation cannot be controlled by us mere mortals with our invertors and generators. But survival tactics that have brought the human species this far teaches us to find ways to fight any problem mercilessly thrown at us.

The first human attempt is to make storage tanks enough for our households to survive any water shortage issues. If used judiciously, a household with a proper water storage system can go on for a few days. But what when the capacity is exhausted? Rivers and streams are Plan B.

Many areas of Roing township and its peripherysuffer from water shortage on a daily basis. But this pre-monsoon, even the areas that have managed to organise their water connection in ways that ensure timely water supply to all their households, have faced water shortage, the reason being huge trees that fell due to the thunderstorm landing right on the water supply lines, disrupting the water supply.

The question here again: when this happens every monsoon, why doesn’t the department concerned do better at laying the water supply lines? Why is it a wait and watch wherein the departments wait for things to happen, and then deploy their men to solve the issue?

We can only imagine what will happen if, god forbid, the Dubai scenario is recreated here. Will we be able to cope and get back to normal life without being too shaken?

Are we ever going to be free from waiting with bated breath for the rains to disrupt our communication, electricity and water supply? With June, July and August still remaining, we can only pray and hope that our government works more on monsoon preparedness, and spares us the inconveniences that the monsoon brings along with it.