Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 7AM - 7PM

Mumbai – India’s urban population is projected to explode in the coming decades, but cities are already unable to cope and climate change is making living conditions even more challenging.

The metropolis of Mumbai, one of India’s largest cities, has grown by about 8 million people over the past 30 years. This is roughly the size of the entire New York City, with a population of 20 million, projected to grow by another 7 million by 2035. .

Like other Indian metropolises, Mumbai’s housing, transport, water and sewerage and waste management infrastructure has not kept pace, and about 40% of the population lives in slums.

Alongside some of India’s wealthiest neighborhoods, these dense collections of rickety buildings often lack regular water, power supply, or proper sanitation.

This situation is being replicated globally as the world’s population approaches 8 billion, most of them concentrated in developing countries.

People living in the suburbs of Mumbai spend hours commuting to work, many hang out in crowded trains, or drive or bike through clogged and potholed roads flooded during the monsoon season. Some people are traveling with

In Dharavi, the largest slum of one million people, famous for Slumdog Millionaire, Muhammad Sartaj Khan came from rural Uttar Pradesh as a teenager to work in a tannery.

“My childhood was wonderful in the village. It’s a peaceful environment unlike the crowds here,” Khan, now 35, told AFP in the hustle and bustle of Dharavi’s alleys.

“When I came here, I saw people running like ants,” he said. “The way Ali keeps walking in her lane despite her crowd… nobody cares about anyone else.”

But in his village, “people don’t have money,” he added.

Initially earning 6,000 rupees (S$102) a month in Mumbai, he now earns four times that by operating machinery, most of which he sends to his wife and children.

early death

The United Nations predicts that India’s population will grow from 1.4 billion today to overtake China, peak at 1.7 billion in the 2060s, and return to 1.5 billion in the early 20th century.

According to the International Energy Agency, 270 million people will live in Indian cities by 2040, increasing carbon emissions from power generation, transportation and the production of steel and concrete for housing.

Overcrowding, poor infrastructure, severe air, water and noise pollution are part of daily life in India’s big cities.

According to a government report released in 2021, about 70% of the billions of liters of sewage generated daily in urban centers go untreated.

Every winter, the capital city of New Delhi, home to 20 million people, is blanketed by toxic air pollution, causing about 17,500 premature deaths in 2019, according to one Lancet study.

drought and flood

Millions of people in Indian cities lack regular running water and rely on delivery by truck or train.

People in Delhi and elsewhere are digging deeper wells as groundwater tables drop.

Chennai in southeastern India experienced water shortages in the summer of 2019. The crisis was due to both inadequate rainfall and urban sprawl into former wetlands.

At the same time, urban floods are becoming more and more frequent.

The tech hub of Bangalore (formerly Bangalore) is experiencing some of India’s worst traffic jams, with flooding in September attributed to unlicensed construction.

As the global climate warms and the weather becomes more erratic, natural disasters are projected to have increasingly dire consequences for Indian cities.

Scientists believe the annual monsoon rainy season has become more irregular and intense, causing floods and droughts.

Rising temperatures are making Indian summers hotter, especially in urban areas filled with heat-trapping concrete. 2022 saw the hottest March on record in India.

Covid-19 hasn’t hit India’s slums as hard as some feared, but overcrowding puts them at risk for future epidemics.

Poonam Muttreja of the Indian Population Foundation said while more investment in the rural economy could discourage migration to cities, new incentives could encourage people to move to smaller city centers. He said it could be encouraged.

“Poor people, especially migrants living in urban areas, are at the worst risks of climate change, including climate change and flooding, lack of jobs and infrastructure,” she said. “India must make a paradigm shift. And instead of complaining, it needs to start doing something.” AFP Cities under tension: India’s projected urban boom

Recommended Articles