Mumbai (formerly Bombay), is the capital city of

Mumbai (formerly
Bombay), is the capital city of Maharashtra. Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)
encompasses 20 urban local bodies of about 4355 kilometre square (Agarwal,
2013, pp.116). The city is India’s largest city, with an estimated population
of 18.4 million in 2011 (Pibmumbai.gov.in., 2011).
Coupled with income rises, tourism, and rural- urban migration, the city has continued
to grow very rapidly. However, a large share of population growth is
persistently absorbed by the slums, a rough estimate of 15% of the city’s total
population (Gandy, 2008, pp.114), a major problem for Mumbai. Thus exists huge
spatial inequities, as network expansion was not at pace with population
growth. The proliferation of slums accompanied many urban infrastructural
challenges, the spontaneous nature of slum settlement, meant many slums lack
planned access to clean water, sewerage, waste disposal systems,
transportation, housing etc. Consider
the case in the city of Mumbai, whose estimated 6 million slum dwellers are
illegally squatting on abandoned land (LeGates
and Stout, 2016, pp.276). There is pressure
from visionaries and
property developers for the valuable land occupied by slum dwellers, rather than integrating the
slums into the existing urban infrastructural facilities. The phase at the beginning of this essay invites us to think
of the case of Mumbai.

The contemporaneous
decline in infrastructure monopolies has seen infrastructural provision focus
on efficiency through enhanced competition rather than achieving uniformity of
social equity (Zérah, 2008, pp.1922). This systematic privatization of urban
infrastructural provision is leading to processes of unbundling and splintering
urbanism. Due to the fact that, urban infrastructural services are  concentrated in
areas which have the highest capital gain thus, solely benefitting the rich and
moving away from the poor (Castan-Broto, 2013), causing service provision to
be uneven. Should poverty be
a reason for a denial of ‘the rights to city’ i.e. Mumbai city? The slogan
popularized by Harvey in 2008, has become widely adopted by individuals
worldwide who feel they excluded from features of city life (LeGates and Stout, 2016,
pp.270).

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