Urban Problems and Solutions in Bombay
An exploration of the present and historical reasons for high population growth in Bombay and the resulting urban and infrastructure problems.
This paper describes two of the biggest problems facing Bombay (Mumbai) today. Massive population growth has led to high levels of overcrowding and poor health conditions as a result. There are also huge problems in providing adequate infrastructure as a result of this population growth, made worse by the unique geography of Bombay. The essay then describes the solution that is being implemented: the creation of a new ‘growth pole’: New Bombay a few miles away.
“The City of Bombay is located on the west coast of India and is one of the largest cities in the world. It is a good example of the kind of dramatic growth that has affected many developing countries in the past 50 years. But this was not always so. Bombay in the mid 17th century consisted of 7 small islands off the west coast of India. The area was surrounded by marshy land, had almost no fertile soil and was inhabited mainly be fishermen. There was no important trade and no resources and thus very little economic activity. But by the end of the 20th Century Bombay had become one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world with around 15 million inhabitants. Bombay is India’s most important port, busiest airport, has the highest concentration of industry, and the most multinational corporations in South East Asia. Why did this dramatic change occur and what have been the resulting negative impacts? To answer these questions it is worth looking at the history of Bombay briefly to understand the background to Bombay’s problems, before investigating further two urban problems that Bombay faces and the solutions put forward.”