Mumbai world cities case study

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  • Created by: Fiona
  • Created on: 22-05-13 17:39

Location and background

Mumbai is located on a peninsular on the western coast of Maharashtra state in western India, bordering the Arabian Sea

It is a mega city with a population of approximately 12.5 million (as of 2011) - this has increased rapidly since 1971, when it was 5.9 million

It was once part of the British Empire (when it was known as Bombay and seen as the 'Gateway to India') and it was the British who developed it into a major port and helped it to industrialise because it processed goods for export to the rest of the world and handled imports - the British left in 1947

It is now globally important, acting as India's financial centre and a hub of industry and services, as well as being the home of Bollywood

It generates 5% of India's GDP and accounts for 25% of its industrial output


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Push Factors

The Green Revolution (a government programme) has led to the mechanisation of agriculture, which means it is less labour intensive so people have lost their jobs, and it has also favoured high yielding crops, but these often need fertiliser/pesticide - only large farms can afford this, not small-scale farmers

In Maharastra there has been a tradition of a father splitting his land between his sons but population growth means the plots become too small to support a family - this has also led to people farming unsuitable land in order to try and survive and consequently there has been soil  erosion

Low educational and health standards as few want to work in impoverished communities (jobs in cities are better paid)

Young people do not want to follow the traditional route (they see it as hard-work but badly paid)

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Pull Factors

  • Migrants have moved to Mumbai from all over India in the search of jobs, which pay better than farm work - this is especially because of Mumbai's successful economy, which makes migrants hopefull of their job prospects, for example in industries such as textiles, shipping and freight (provided by TNCs) - 14.7% of migration is for employment
  • The Mumbai Metropolitan Authority, the Indian Governement and international agencies (UN) have invested in public works such as improving water supplies - may lead to public service jobs
  • Educational opportunities - Mumbai is home to many of India's most prestigious educational establishments, including the University of Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Technology and Government Law College (responsible for 3% of migration)
  • Chain migration - many already know people who have moved to Mumbai and thus it is easier for them to come to as they have contacts who may be able to find them a job/housing
  • The prospect of a better standard of life e.g. services like water, sewerage and electricity
  • The opportunity to experience a rich, cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle
  • The 11th 'Five year Plan' (2007 - 2011) supported urbanisation in order to help the development of the Indian economy

Also natural increase - in 2009 there were 1,75,298 births in Mumbai and the birth rate is 20.1/1000

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  • The development of slums, which are home to around 50 - 60% of the Mumbai population - in Dharavi (the biggest slum in Asia) 600,000 people live in an area of 2km2 - this has led to problems such as cramped housing, which is poorly built and often lacks basic services e.g. water supply or sanitation - this can then lead to health problems as raw sewage spreads disease
  • Health care services are unable to reach everyone because of the increased population - possibly only 30% of the poor have access to it and this means outbreaks of diseases (malaria, dengue fever...) are common and the infant mortality rate is high (40/1000)
  • Increased population puts extra pressure on water supplies - Mumbai's water supply depends on the monsoon rainfall and this means it has to be strictly rationed in dry years
  • The road network in Mumbai carries millions of people a day and as a result there are problems with congestion, long journey times and air pollution (not built for this level of traffic)
  • More waste is produced - in the eastern neighbourhood of Chembur this has created problems as waste is burnt on open rubbish dumps, leading to health problems, with 25% of deaths from 2007 - 2008 being caused by respiratory problems
  • Water pollution (e.g. in the Mithi River) as big industries dump their untreated waste in it and also 800 million litres of untreated sewage enter it every day
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  • In 1995 the Slum Sanitation Program was started by a group of NGOs and it built 330 communal toilet blocks in the slums
  • The local authority has made rainwater harvesting systems compulsory on all new residential buildings in Mumbai on plots larger than 330m2 but since 2007 only half of buildings have actually had them installed
  • People are using alternative forms of transport (e.g. scooters, mopeds) to avoid becoming stuck in traffic and reduce their journey times - this has reduced congestion but added to the poor air quality
  • The public transport system is being upgraded, with a Metro system invloving over 140km of new rail lines being built, with the first line set to open in October this year
  • In 2004 the government announced a plan to redevelop Dharavi, which involves clearing the slum in sections (with the residents being moved into temporary accomodation) and replacing the one or two storey buildings with 7-storey tenements, as well as providing services e.g. a water and sewerage system, then any family who can prove they have been living there since 1995 will receive free housing - there are 4,500 'industries' in Dharavi and they will each be entitled to 225sq ft free, then will be able to purchase additional space at market rates, which many will not be able to afford to will be forced to shut, and polluting industries will also have to go (e.g. taneries) - some residents are against it as it may destroy livelihoods and the community spirit
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