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Delhi & Mumbai - Contrasting problems, No Solutions

Delhi and Mumbai

Delhi and Mumbai, both are one of the biggest and most important cities of India.

Where Delhi is the national capital of India, Mumbai is considered the financial capital.

Separated by a distance of more than a 1000 km, both cities have their own culture, ideologies, and problems.

Read about the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway

Yes, there is a common problem that affects both the cities. And that is their ever increasing population and lack of space for everyone.

But this article is not about it.

It's about the contrasting problems faced by both Delhi and Mumbai every year, and yet no solution seems to be in sight.

Contrasting problems

The problems that I wish to highlight in this article may appear to be natural at first glance, but trust me they have been aggravated by us humans only.

Look at what the two cities go through every year!


On one hand is Delhi, the national capital of India, which suffers from severe dust storms and air pollution thanks to dusty winds from Rajasthan and crop stubble burning in Punjab.

Read my detailed article on Delhi problem here.

Rainfall is now almost non-existent in Delhi, even during good monsoons. Rivers and Groundwater levels are running dry and it is estimated that, if things don't improve, in the next 5 years Delhi might become a desert.

You may feel, these problems are natural, what can anyone do about it?

But it wasn't always this way!

Delhi, like any other city, was lush green, Received plenty rainfall and had clean air. My personal experience of staying here for the last 3 decades, has seen this city go from great to worse.

And only we are responsible. Excessive cutting of trees, poor planning of new colonies, excessive commercialization has all led to what the city is today.

Forget rain, people in many parts of Delhi don't even get proper water to drink.

Imagine, how much worse this problem is going to get, if Delhi actually keeps moving on the path of desertification.

And only Now the government has taken notice and plans to build a tree wall around Delhi.

I just hope, it's not too late!


On the other hand, Mumbai has a completely opposite problem. It receives so much rainfall that there is water logging everywhere.

This leads to bridge collapses, building collapses, accidents etc leading to loss of life and property.

Yet again, this is not something new to Mumbai!

But human activities have made it more destructive than before. Houses and infrastructure are not properly maintained. Poor planning has lead to a bad drainage system which causes waterlogging everywhere.

Water enters homes in low lying areas. Roads look like flowing rivers. Open sewage man-holes lead to loss of life.

Poorly built roads develop potholes in just one shower of rain. Very recently, a woman lost her life when she fell off a scooter, which bumped into a pot-hole, and then came under a truck.

These problems have persisted for quite some time now in Mumbai as well. Yet no concrete steps seem to be have been taken to combat or improve the situation.

Forget situation improvement, there is no preparation to save and utilize all this water.

Come summer and once again most parts of Mumbai face water shortage. Major parts of eastern Maharashtra reels under acute water shortage almost throughout the year leading to farmer suicides.

Why can't we try and save the water we receive in Mumbai?

If the government of Israel can make drinking water from the ocean water, is saving rainwater that big of a challenge?

Final thoughts

It's really fascinating how the landscape, and with it, the associated problems, change in just a 1000 km.

But what's surprising is that the attitude of the ruling leaders and the people still doesn't change.

Despite being the residents of the same city and facing the same problems, no leader dares to show a resolve to come up with a viable solution to the problems faced by these cities.

And despite years of paralyzed governance, people still choose the same leaders again and again without demanding what is rightfully theirs.

We have to fight...for our own sake!

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