Mumbai: Maximum City With Minimum Planning?

10,000 people lived in Mumbai at the advent of the 17th century, but now it has a population of nearly 22 million.

2 min read
Mumbai: Maximum City With Minimum Planning?
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Mumbai is crumbling under its own pressure.

And we can’t blame it for the mayhem. A city which was home to just 10,000 people at the beginning of the 17th century, now has a population size of nearly 22 million.

So, what happened during this period which saw it assume the title of being the commercial capital of India but also face major civic tragedies causing loss of lives? It failed to develop the infrastructure in tandem with the rapid pace of urban development, Chandrashekhar Prabhu, a town planner and former chairman of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, told BloombergQuint.

“In the 70s, it was decided that the city is growing in a linear fashion. If you take a compass and use South Mumbai as the centre and draw a circle, the segment in which the city grows is just 10 degrees. All over the world, cities grow in 360 degrees,” explained Prabhu.

In the second half of 2017 alone, the city witnessed six major tragedies — with the latest being the fire at a pub in Kamala Mills that took 14 lives.

Skyline of Mumbai
(Photo Courtesy: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
Urban tragedies in Mumbai in 2017
(Photo Courtesy: BloombergQuint)

Everyone is quick to blame shoddy planning and high levels of corruption when such tragedies occur in the city. But is it just that or is it due to the city’s geographical limitations? BloombergQuint spoke to urban planning experts to look for solutions to the city’s infrastructure issues.

Watch the full conversation here:

(This piece was originally published on BloombergQuint and has been republished with permission.)

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Topics:  Mumbai   Urban Poor 

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