There are just too many things amiss in our 42-year-old Town
On Thursday May 3rd, last, there was a prolonged downpour in Linden that once again caused a flood. Definitely, it was not the first and will not be the last; for none of us can dare dictate to Mother Nature.
Heavy rains have been with us since time immemorial, and residents of the Town of Linden can attest to many such experiences; of gutters overflowing and streets/roads being flooded. However, the difference is: during the days of Mackenzie and into the early years of Linden – which superseded the name Mackenzie – a prolonged downpour was like heaven sent to most of us boys then; the entire watery landscape was transferred into an aquatic playfield. We longed for it, since it provided a special form of entertainment for us.
Not only did we have fun bathing in the rain, but once the gutters, streets and playfields were flooded, it stimulated us and provided the energy and excitement for various kinds of water sports. We instantly became creative; all sorts of sailing vessels were made, using as our track the gutters of crystal clear water to propel them. We played football in the streets and fields using plastic footballs. We played water war and other athletics to the delight of parents, elders and all else, who looked on from their homes or shelter without the least thought or fear of us being infected by dirty gutter water.
But rest assured that within half an hour after the rain ceased, you could have seen the roads/fields, and the water in the drains, though still high, was moving at a rapid rate as if behind time – that’s when the excitement in boat racing was most hyped.
I mentioned all the above to make the point and for us to get the picture of the quality and effectiveness of our drainage system then – main drains, culverts, access drains; all an intricate, interlocking combination that kept the community healthy and smart looking, and prevented roads from constantly deteriorating.
Today the situation is crazy, lousy, scandalous, and far from the above, thus it begs the question: why is it so. Is it, as they say, rocket science, and too tall an order for the Town’s technical team/engineers? What on earth can it be? The situation seems to be getting worse.
About a year ago I questioned if we have sightless people overseeing our interest or whether it is not their interest. And I need to repeat once again that in spite of all the hundreds of millions boasted about that was spent on drainage, there hasn’t been any positive effects in preventing floods, it is just as if nothing was done, since anything more than a drizzle puts the Town under water. It is the same old same, and someone in authority who cares, needs to speak out very loud.
The downpour which I mentioned earlier was no play, it was one of its kind in a very long time, still if our drainage network was functioning well, things would not have been that terrible.
This situation in this Town that has just finished celebrating its 42nd birthday is totally irritating. Is this the way a Town is kept? By the way, the garbage left around after the Town Week celebrations was a main ingredient and chief culprit that took advantage of the heavy rain and contributed to the horrible ugly spectacle.
Seriously, I suggest that there be a public meeting where residents, young and old, who have some knowledge of the drainage system, along with the Town engineers and all other relevant personnel meet, with the main purpose of restoring an effective drainage network for the sake of our health and safety of children.
The condition of roads in this Town are abominable; newly-built roads hardly last beyond six months! Our community/region is frighteningly infested with mosquitoes of almost every type, which has never ever been experienced in the past. I further suggest that the covers of those drains recently built and which serve little or no use, be lifted so that the drains can be properly cleaned and be re-examined.
It is a shame that residents and senior functionaries stood by and observed the drains being covered without first being cleaned. There is a technical person who told me that he pointed out to the Clerk of Works’ senior personnel, and also the contractor, a number of defects that would have negative results, all to no avail.
It is time that this community wakes up from its slumber, avoids and dismisses all the clap-trap, hypocrisy and piffle, and recognizes as well as understands things for what they are and the direction in which we are heading.
There are just too many things amiss in this 42-year-old Town; too many games being played, hence too many wrongs that seem stubbornly rooted.