With reference to the editorial, “Decaying Mumbai” (October 4), at one time, the city, then called Bombay, was the pride of India. Despite the high population density, millions of daily commuters, incessant rains for four months, smugglers and the underworld et al, the city not only managed to survive and sustain itself but also prospered.
From house maids, plumbers and carpenters to efficient secretaries and senior executives, local trains and BEST buses, smart traders, legendary dabbawallas, scrupulously honest angarias, savvy Parsi and Marwari industrialists, a gutsy Bollywood — all of them made Mumbai the financial capital of the country and the envy of other cities. The key factors were the professionalism of the people of the city and the no-nonsense approach of the municipal authorities and the police force.
Sadly, those very institutions are proving to be the bane of the magapolis today, gnawing at its roots and destroying it. Mumbai’s drainage system, once considered super efficient, has failed the city, the deluge of August 29 this year and that on July 26 a few years ago are only two instances when this was apparent.
The tragic death of 23 people in the stampede on the railway foot bridge at Elphinstone Road station should be a wake-up call. Average middle class people commuting to earn a living run the risk of being killed.
The chief minister of Maharashtra must deliver on his promise and give the city an empowered CEO and adequate funds to save its heritage from extinction.
Krishan Kalra Gurgaon
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