The scenes in the capital city Srinagar after the downpour on Thursday is something that the government in general and some departments in particular would not like to recollect. As the commercial hub of the city got inundated, it served as a grim reminder of those deplorable days when commuters had to take off their shoes and wade across the flooded streets. The downpour on Thursday was unlike what people usually witness in the city, there is no doubt about it. But the city was supposed to be “smarter” that it looked when pools formed everywhere. The confusion now among the residents is whether they should blame the district administration, the Master Plan, the municipal corporation, UEED, PHE, the champions of the ‘Smart City’ etc. Not to make it too serious, there were some takeaways from yesterday’s raining like cats and dogs – people got a respite from the hot and humid weather, the city got washed and the dust finally settled for some days and the official response-time, as was observed, got reduced with the mobilization of pumps n the most affected areas. But that is not a solution, and perhaps may be a part of the problem – the city primarily doesn’t need to rely on mobile dewatering pumps. In engineering it is not even a feat to get rid of the excess rain water using an efficient drainage system. The water should go down the drains and not be carried in a transportation vessel. Relying on mobile water pumps is not smart thinking, particularly when the response is evoked only in the hour of the crisis. As per a report, not even a single project under the much touted ‘Smart City’ has been completed since 2017. In terms of funds that is required to transform a city like Srinagar into a better one where streets do not become pools, only Rs 27 crore have been utilized out of the Rs 116 crore released by the Centre in 2017-18 financial year (for the twin cities of Srinagar, Jammu). Here is the biggest problem – there is no lack of funds, there is work to be done but the work remains undone. The district administration must reckon that it is not about the response time but fixing a problem permanently, the basic civic problem – defunct drainage system. It is difficult to get the city out of the bog – there is traffic problem, there is pollution problem, there is environment problem, there is heritage problem, there is natural disasters problem, and so on. A better vision probably about what the city should have and shouldn’t have is needed.