By Arjun Mehrotra and Neel Tripathi

While Mumbai is a beautiful city, with many pull factors when it comes to settlement, we think that according to the sustainable rubric mumbai is not a sustainable city, due to a multitude of reasons including poverty, littering, corruption, imports for a lot of resources, and a  lack of government initiative.

Mumbai’s lakes and water bodies are polluted as well as the roads (according to Hindustan times). The dust on roads in Mumbai makes up a big part of the overall pollution. The Mithi river is an example of this pollution. . Earth5r shows this river which is right outside our own school, many roads will be full of trash, compare this to a place like Singapore which is still a small city-state/island but is sustainable and has practically no trash, the difference is unsettling. Even with people like Afroz Shah helping clean up the river it would take a long time to make a difference.

Poverty is another major factor in Mumbai affecting the financial sustainability level as not all people have equal job opportunities. Dharavi is an epicentre of poverty and shows what housing is like for 50% of Mumbai’s population. According to money in Mumbai follows a bell curve, with the top 2% making almost 80 percent of the income in mumbai.

Due to the growing population in Mumbai, as it is the financial hub of Mumbai, many nearby forests are being converted into urban land like factories, or homes for people. The problem with this is that it is not a sustainable system, having to take over more forests to keep the rising population with homes. This cannot go on. The government does not keep sustainability intact and shifts in power continue the destruction of the environment for the growing population. This is because of government officials with different views, Devendra Fadnavis wanted to cut down arrey forest and once it was done, Udhav Thackeray, the new minister, wanted to review the project and shut it down, leaving the trees already cut. 

A counterargument is that the government and many people are working on fixing this. Working on it will help right now but not in the long term With how big of a city Mumbai is, there is no way all of these problems can be solved in under a decade. 

These challenges are going to keep occuring  unless India educates 20 million people, since people are still going to be throwing trash in the ocean, still littering the seas, still being corrupt and there is not enough money for the government to change that. However, many initiatives like the metro, are working towards the goal. People like Afroz Shah are taking the responsibility of cleaning up mumbai and if we want to make mumbai sustainable, we should help too.

In conclusion, Mumbai will not become a sustainable city for a long time and has a lot of problems. However, once we fix these problems Mumbai has a prosperous future ahead, especially considering its location, foreign involvement, and its position as a trading hub for many countries. 

P.S- Do not forget that all of these problems are not terrible, there are many organizations devoted to solving these problems and make sure to give them credit too 😀 We hope Mumbai and even India as a whole becomes sustainable.

A collection of stories written by the students of Ascend International School!