Mumbai blues

Updated: Aug 3 2005, 05:30am hrs
The management of the recent Mumbai floods is a classic case of absence of governance. In fact, it is unfortunate that the priorities of the government were misplacedit chose not to postpone the swearing-in ceremony of Narayan Rane! This definitely hurts the sentiments of the Mumbai citizen.

The fact remains that Mumbais infrastructure has been stretched, not only now, but over the past decade for a variety of reasons. And, the worst hit are the suburbs, which have been growing at a frenetic pace. This has put tremendous pressure on the citys infrastructure.

Besides, there is complete neglect in the land use pattern. Also, the road transport infrastructure has not kept up with the rising automobile population.

The statistics are telling. Mumbai stretches 437 sq km and houses a population of 12-13 million and half of the population uses the railways to commute.

The citys planning process is not holistic. The Mumbai Urban Transport Project, which is predominantly a railway project (expansion of rail lines and platforms), besides the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project, which attends to the roads, result in contracting sewerage and sanitary facilities, like solid waste disposal. In fact, the works-in-progress resulted in clogging of drains, since the debris was not removed.

The city generates as much as 70,000 tonnes of garbage every day. It is important to collect and evacuate it on a sustainable basis. Unfortunately, planning in this regard is also wanting. Then there is Mumbais plastic consumption and disposal. Owing to lack of civic sense, plastic bags have clogged drains.

The writer was CEO, Bombay First, an NGO promoted by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry