Pre-monsoon rainfall happens every year spread across South and Southeast Asia from India to Cambodia, usually from March to May. With the advancement of technology, we are now better able to predict the weather more accurately thereby allowing us to be alert and make necessary preparations. This is particularly helpful for farmers. Nonetheless, all citizens including urban dwellers must make optimum use of the technological advancement made in this field, led by the people in authority.
Mokokchung town received a brief but heavy downpour on Wednesday afternoon as was predicted. In fact, weather forecasts predict that there is a likelihood of thunderstorms in the NE India region till 17 March. Wednesday’s heavy downpour exposed the condition of the town’s sewage and drainage system, or lack of it, after the downpour. Every year, when the pre-monsoon rain falls, Mokokchung town faces this problem of drains overflowing onto the roads. Sights of sewers being blocked and clogged drains with garbage being strewn all over as its result are all too familiar. It is suggested that the authorities, especially the MMC and the respective ward authorities, should from now on prepare to mitigate this problem ahead of time, taking advantage of the weather forecasting technology. Volunteers and sanitation workers need to be mobilized and remain alert on standby to swing into action immediately when the pre-monsoon rain falls. This is necessary because we do not have proper sewage or drainage systems.
Further, it is about time that we come up with a proper plan for the upkeep of the drains and sewers in the town. In fact, this is one aspect that we have all ignored for way too long. We often raise concerns about lack of proper roads, erratic power supply, lack of piped water supply and the like but seldom do we raise the question of lack of proper sewers and drains. This must change. Maybe we did not bother about it in the past because we lacked the awareness and knowledge. Or maybe it simply did not strike our civic sense. Whatever may be the case, from now on, the need for proper drains and sewers must be adequately addressed.
Mokokchung is not a planned town. Therefore, it is obvious that there are no properly planned out sewerage and drainage networks. However, the problem can be solved if all stakeholders work together with more awareness creation and sensitization. The issue can even be proposed to the government for funding and execution. In the meantime, the individual residents of the town should also participate and contribute by not throwing garbage into the drains. Perhaps it is also time for Mokokchung to form a working group to address this problem. The existence of the problem is not the issue here. The problem is that we are not doing anything worthwhile to address the problem.
As a community, the citizens should also proactively participate in the upkeep of the town without relying entirely on the authorities. We have to reclaim our town and collectively participate in its maintenance. Unless we do that, no one is going to come and do it for us. Lack of drains and sewers may seem to be a minor problem but if we cannot even address such a ‘minor’ problem, it is not likely that we can address other ‘major’ problems.