Environmental Problems of Mumbai

6899 Words Aug 8th, 2012 28 Pages
Environmental Problems of Mumbai

CED

Owi Kale St. Xavier’s College

Environmental Problems of Mumbai

Mumbai- the name conjures up images of high skyscrapers, wide roads, the sea-kissed Marine Drive, a land of opportunity and enterprise. A city full of paradoxes, Mumbai is a microcosm of India in many ways. If one were to ask a set of people to describe the present Mumbai, we would get a wide variety of answers ranging from the financial capital of India to the next target of militant groups. For me, I see a city at a crossroad, deciding which direction to take. One minor part of her is decisively pulling her towards the path marked 'Destruction through development' while a major part of her wants to take the path of 'Sustainable
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Creation of infrastructure is an important and totally justifiable end in a city like Mumbai which is aiming to gain an international look. However, unplanned urban development without respecting the course of nature will always backfire in the form of a disaster like 26/7. In a coastal city, wetlands, wastelands, saltpan lands and mangroves function as buffer zones against tidal movement. Each of these have been systematically destroyed which has resulted in deterioration of land. In case of mangroves, land has been reclaimed in the name of slum rehabilitation and garbage dumps. Sadly enough, on these pretexts, valuable mangroves are destroyed to make way for high rises. Another fact which is not understood is that marshy land is not meant for extensive construction and concretization of such land reduces its water absorption capacity. This makes natural regeneration of underground aquifiers almost impossible. Secondly, construction debris and garbage is also dumped in mangrove swamps in a bid to reclaim land. Mangroves have been classified as a Coastal Regulation Zone-I (CRZ), which means that construction cannot take place without the express permission of the CRZ Authority. This makes all construction activity in mangrove areas a violation of CRZ rules. The Bandra-Worli sea-link and the SewriNhava-Sheva sea link are examples of large-scale projects that shall considerably affect mangroves in those areas. The Bandra-Worli sea-link
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