Welcome the Rains !

I was in Mumbai as well as in Singapore recently.

Both cities had their first big rains recently – Mumbai last week and Singapore earlier this week.

While Mumbai rains are well known for bringing the city to its knees every year, what was surprising to me is that the Singapore rains almost managed to do that in a city which always works. There was an incredibly long line of people waiting to get taxis, the vehicular movement on the roads slowed down, and most surprising, the MRT system got clogged.

There were hundreds of people waiting to get into the next train at MRT stations, which I personally witnessed. This was most unusual, I have never seen that kind of situation in the past. The trains were completely jammed with people, with no space whatsoever even to stretch one’s hands.

Well, well, such situations were unthinkable in Singapore in the past. I guess one reason is that the city has grown very fast, with more people utilizing public services than in the past. There are now more migrants than ever, and there is obviously a strain on all public services.

Notwithstanding the same, I was surprised that systems could get slowed down by just one single big rain.

I don’t understand, this is very unlike Singapore that I had known in the past. Things always work in Singapore for everyone. It is the most efficient city in the entire world. There is not even a close competitor, Hong Kong comes in at a distant second with regard to operational efficiency and execution. There is no city in the Western world which can compete with Singapore.

I am still trying to understand, and will closely watch the next time there is a massive rain.


Vijay Srinivasan
08 June 2013


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