Mumbai Deserves better Infrastructure

Mumbai is the financial capital of India. More than 50% of our tax money is coming only from Mumbai. If Mumbai was not there then all our states unemployment problems would have crossed the limit by now because Mumbai has migrants from all over India. Mumbai is such a big business city so that people from all other states come to Mumbai for a job.

But I think state and central governments are not giving enough importance to this big city. Maharashtra government is considering Mumbai like any other part of the state and Indian Government is considering Mumbai like any other city in India. But definitely Mumbai should get more consideration because Mumbai’s development is not only important to Maharashtra but is equally important for India. Mumbai’s development has an impact on India’s economy not only because it is the home of big financial institutions, banks and Bombay Stock Exchange but also it offers such a huge job potential for the people of India.

Today Mumbai’s infrastructure is in a very bad shape. Continuous raining for one or two days seriously affects the working of the city. It is too sad that such a big and beautiful city is affected so easily by a bad weather condition. This also affects the day to day business in the city and also gives a negative signal to the world about Mumbai. Today’s booming markets like Information Technology, IT enabled services like Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Call Center jobs and Banking require 24x7x365 service. Downtime, even if it is for few seconds seriously affects these types of businesses.

Mumbai is also famous for film industry. Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world in terms of number of films produced. Mumbai is also a famous tourist destination in the international tourist map. Also many financial institutions have headquarters in Mumbai including Bombay Stock Exchange and Reserve Bank of India and business groups like Tata, Reliance, Mahindra and Godrej.

This is not 60s or 70s to wait endless days for a mechanic to repair a radio or car. This is an age of competition. If you don’t provide the best service in time then you will be out of business. This is a time of globalization. Every company has to face tough competition from all over the world. So especially in IT and ITES, promptness is an important requirement today. You have to give the best service and support to survive in any field. So it is our government’s duty to provide a safe and hassle free working environment to people and companies to flourish.

As per statistics around 400 to 500 families are migrating to Mumbai daily from all parts of the country. This adds around 1500 to 2000 persons daily to Mumbai’s life. So if we leave it like this then within another 5 to 10 years Mumbai will be a mess. I think all these frequent heavy rains and deluges are a warning signal for the people and government. That means if we don’t take a proper action now then we will have to face serious consequences in future. It is a God’s warning to react.

Governments should think about some big infrastructure projects to improve the living style of the common man. This is applicable for all major cities in India. All metros suffer due to lack of infrastructure. I think we should learn from China. They are spending billions of dollars every year for improving their cities. In India only less than 4% of GDP is used for infrastructure development.

In Mumbai, Government should seriously think about a better drainage system and mass transport system. Transportation is a big problem in Mumbai. Central and Western railways are not providing enough service to the people. Last one year I stayed in Mumbai. I had to travel to Borivli from Dombivli many times. Even though it was not required, to avoid rush in train I used to get up at 5am to catch a train before 5:30am. Even at 5:30am trains are so crowded and getting down at Thane or Dadar was a nightmare.

Moving around with family is more difficulty due to insufficient and crowded transport systems. When we were staying at Marol (Andheri East) we used to take an auto rickshaw to the nearest bus depot Dindoshi to get a seat in the bus (mainly because my daughter meghna was only 1 year old at that time).

Government should take necessary steps to complete the metro rail projects at the earliest and should think about more such projects. I don’t think fund generation is a problem. If BMC or Maharashtra govt. doesn’t have enough funds then they can approach central government or can think of a public-private partnership for fund generation. Nedumbassery Airport project in Kerala is a good example of private-public partnership. Especially in Mumbai govt. can generate more funds because Mumbai has many rich people than any other cities in India. If government can promise a reasonable return then lot of money will flow in.

Government needs a proper execution authority to run the whole show. BMC is too crowded and is loosing its stand due to political interference and corruption. I think government should take initiative for a new department for Mumbai’s infrastructure development with a governing body which includes all prominent citizens in Mumbai and top people from major private firms who really want Mumbai to flourish.

Mumbai and other Indian metros deserve a world class infrastructure. Central and State governments should take some immediate steps to improve the living style of Indian cities otherwise it will create long-term problems and make serious impact in India’s economy in future.

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