The Contemporary Water Crisis Of Mumbai

932 Words4 Pages
This essay will explore the contemporary water crisis in Mumbai, India; a rapidly growing megacity that for decades has struggled to provide adequate access to water for their 20 million residents, and in particular the more than 10 million people living in unsanctioned self-erected slum communities that surround the city proper. Beyond the technical and structural barriers lie ideological and cultural impediments that I will argue are borne in part from an idealized quest for modernity informed by free market capitalism and neoliberal ideology. I will argue that this has created deep cultural and societal rifts that have been exploited by vested economic interests through discursive and political campaigns that seek to delegitimize the right of Mumbai’s citizens to water, and by extension life. The spectre of climate change provides a backdrop for an existential struggle that has been unfolding for decades and appears likely to continue. This essay will examine the circumstances and failures that preceded the 2014 landmark ruling handed down by the High Court of Mumbai which affirmed the inalienable right to water, regardless of legal status of one’s domicile, including attempts to privatize water services in various regions of the city. Mumbai: A City Divided On the western edge of the Indian Peninsula lies Mumbai, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, and the most populous in the country. Home to 19.4 million people, Mumbai is the commercial, financial and
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