Environment: Pollution and Mumbai

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ronmClean Techn Environ Policy (2006) DOI 10.1007/s10098-005-0030-7


Sudhakar Yedla

Dynamics of environmental problems in Mumbai

Received: 6 September 2004 / Accepted: 7 March 2005 Ó Springer-Verlag 2006

Abstract This paper presents the dynamics of environmental problems in Mumbai city. An evolution concept is applied to study the present environmental status of Mumbai. In order to study its dynamics, the entire process of environmental evolution is divided into four types viz. poverty-related environmental issues, industrialization- and urbanization-related environmental issues, rapid economic growth-related environmental issues and wealthy lifestyle-related environmental issues. Dynamics of suitable indicators for all the above issues over the economic development has been studied. Temporal representation of respective indicator for each type of the environmental problem presented the distribution of these types of environmental problems on a longitudinal scale. In the analysis it is found that, at present Mumbai has prevalence to rapid economic development-related environmental problems. Povertyrelated environmental issues show very little significance. Industrialization- and urban-related environmental issues coexist with rapid economic development-related environmental issues. This provides the necessary inputs to city planner so as to avoid various environmental costs that other cities have already experienced.

Bombay1, since independence, has been the center for development and financial activities of India. ManuS. Yedla Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Vaidya Marg, Goregaon(E), 400 065 Mumbai, India E-mail: s_yedla@yahoo.com Present address: S. Yedla Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, 240 0115 Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan 1

facturing sector has been the major force in Bombay creating potential for employment, and that had resulted in migration of rural population. This influx has created an increased demand for sharing the limited public resources and infrastructure available in the island city. As the place became scarce the real estate value shot up driving the public to the suburbs. As a result, expansion of Greater Bombay in 1971 was almost entirely due to its suburbs’ growth. In 1981 the city’s population of 3.3 million was far outpaced by the suburb population of 5 million (MPPI 1998). With these trends continuing, Bombay city, in the post-independence period has been facing severe resource constraints. This growth has further exacerbated the city’s problems by overstraining its services in catering to the hordes of commuters, all heading each morning for south Bombay where the port, business offices and administrative offices are located. High population growth, inward migration and urbanization put stress on resources. Increasing economic activity and per capita income further stresses the resources and ‘‘common goods’’ (BMRDA 1996). This phenomenon creates a wider scope for increased environmental concerns, which are multifaceted and also cross-sectoral. For various social and administrative reasons, Bombay was renamed as Mumbai during late 1990s. At present Mumbai is the largest metropolitan city in India with very distinct characteristics as presented in Table 1.

Environmental management concerns
In the history of Bombay, there is not much note of environmental concerns. Being an island, Bombay has high assimilation potential, which made this city less environmentally concerned (Kosambi 1986). However, in light with the above-described features, post-independence era of Mumbai witnessed numerous developments, both economically and environmentally. Due to abundant employment opportunities, migration had been so predominant and till 1971 migrants constituted

Bombay has been renamed as Mumbai during late 1990s

Table 1 Socio-economic indicators of Mumbai Indicator Population Literacy rate Employment Per capita income...
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