Mumbai metropolitan area






Conclict cases

SGNP - Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Mangrove forest

Mumbai is the gateway of India and the financial and commercial capital of India and thus the powerhouse of the country. With a total population of over 19 million (2001), it is the sixth largest city in the world after Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Mexico City and Sau Paulo and the largest city in India.  Mumbai contributes about 33% of the country’s income tax, 60% of customs duty and 40% of the foreign trade.

Mumbai (formerly, Bombay) is the capital of the Maharashtra State in western India. Mumbai is a ‘mega city’ and the largest metropolitan region in India. The MMR extends over an area of 4,355 km2 and comprises the Municipal Corporations of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai , Ulhasnagar, Mira Bhayander and Vasai-Virar; 15 municipal towns; 7 non-municipal urban centers; and 995 villages. Its administrative limits cover Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban Districts, and parts of Thane and Raigad Districts.

The city rose from being a small fishing hamlet in the 13th century to the modern mega city after the cession of the Mumbai group of islands to the Portuguese in 1534 and possession of the island by the British in 1661 towards dowry in marriage of British Prince and Portuguese Princess. In the 19th century, economic and educational development in the first half of the 19th century, the beginning of the first-ever Indian railway line in 1853 and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, established Mumbai as the international port and commercial capital of India. During the British rule, Bombay (present Mumbai) was the capital of Bombay Presidency, encompassing much of the western (including Karachi, Pakistan) and parts of central India.

MMR forms a part of the north Konkan coastal lowland that extends from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Western Ghat Escarpment (or Sahyadri) in the east. Nearly 45% area of MMR is below 20 m a.s.l. The area under forest and scrubland is ~ 31%. The major observed forest types are evergreen, semi-evergreen, deciduous and mixed. MMR has five sanctuaries – Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Tungareshwar, Phansad, Karnala and Tansa. Matheran is one of three ecological hot spots in India that has been designated as Eco-Sensitive Zones. Wetlands, including mangroves, tidal flats and salt pans cover slightly less than 10% of the geographical area of the MMR.

The uniqueness of the Mumbai megacity lies in its very high population density, its substantial size of slum and migrant population, and its phenomenal economic and cultural development within the last few decades. The average population density in MMR is about 4445 persons/km2. Greater Mumbai, with a population of 11.9 million is the ‘core’ of the metropolitan region. Slum population constituted about 54% of the total population of Greater Mumbai in 2001.  In the same year, about 43% of the population of Greater Mumbai was classified as migrants. Of the total migrants only one-third are from within the state of Maharashtra. The remaining are from other Indian states.

The city is facing severe problems of air and water pollution, unsatisfactory solid waste and sewage management, exploitation of wetlands, high traffic volume, insufficient housing, poor infrastructure and severe economic disparity.