Mumbai (formerlyBombay), 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 populationof 18.4 million in 2011 (Pibmumbai.
gov.in., 2011).Coupled with income rises, tourism, and rural- urban migration, the city has continuedto grow very rapidly.
However, a large share of population growth ispersistently absorbed by the slums, a rough estimate of 15% of the city’s totalpopulation (Gandy, 2008, pp.114), a major problem for Mumbai. Thus exists hugespatial inequities, as network expansion was not at pace with populationgrowth. The proliferation of slums accompanied many urban infrastructuralchallenges, the spontaneous nature of slum settlement, meant many slums lackplanned access to clean water, sewerage, waste disposal systems,transportation, housing etc. Considerthe case in the city of Mumbai, whose estimated 6 million slum dwellers areillegally squatting on abandoned land (LeGatesand Stout, 2016, pp.276). There is pressurefrom visionaries andproperty developers for the valuable land occupied by slum dwellers, rather than integrating theslums into the existing urban infrastructural facilities. The phase at the beginning of this essay invites us to thinkof the case of Mumbai.
The contemporaneousdecline in infrastructure monopolies has seen infrastructural provision focuson efficiency through enhanced competition rather than achieving uniformity ofsocial equity (Zérah, 2008, pp.1922). This systematic privatization of urbaninfrastructural provision is leading to processes of unbundling and splinteringurbanism. Due to the fact that, urban infrastructural services are concentrated inareas which have the highest capital gain thus, solely benefitting the rich andmoving away from the poor (Castan-Broto, 2013), causing service provision tobe uneven. Should poverty bea reason for a denial of ‘the rights to city’ i.
e. Mumbai city? The sloganpopularized by Harvey in 2008, has become widely adopted by individualsworldwide who feel they excluded from features of city life (LeGates and Stout, 2016,pp.270).