Mumbai: modernity and inequalities

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Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : Southern and Eastern Asia
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Mumbai: modernity and inequalities





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Mumbai is the economic powerhouse of India and the most populous city of the country with more than 14 million people. How may it conciliate the economic boom of India and its growing population?

1 The Indian gateway of globalization

A The wealthiest and the busiest Indian city

 Mumbai is the financial capital of India with a large commercial and trading base. It houses a number of industries, TNCs and financial institutions. The city generates 6.2% of Indian’s GDP and makes 35% of the total tax revenues of the country.

key figure The city accounts for 1% of the total population in India and its GDP (PPP) per capita is $7,050 ($5,238 for the whole country in 2013).

 Mumbai is moving froman industrial base toserviceindustries, producing 25% of India’s industrial output and 70% of its capital transactions. Many of India’s conglomerates, including Tata and Reliance Industries, have their headquarters in Mumbai. The city hosts many foreign banks’ branches.

B An important hub

Mumbai Port is the natural deep-water harbour of Mumbai. It is primarily used for bulk cargo, while most container traffic is directed across the harbour in Navi Mumbai.

 Mumbai has two airports. The international airport serves more than 35 million travelers per year and connects with the domestic airport.

2 A new space organization

A New central business districts

Malabar Hill, in southern Mumbai, was the central business district during the colonial area. But since the late 1970s, the central business districts have been moving north. Worli is one of the busi­est office areas.

 Further to the north, a new commercial complex, the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) has opened to decongest southern Mumbai. It houses headquarters of Dow Chemicals, Bharat Diamond Bourse and Bank of India. 600,000 people work throughout the BKC.

B New transport network

 To connect these CBDs, a new highway opened in July 2009, the “Worli-Bandra” sealink, joining the district of Worli to Bandra. It should be expanded with another sealink to Malabar Hill.

 The rail network is the world’s 2nd-busiest, with 2.4 billion passengers per year, and the most deadly, with 3,700 deaths a year.

3 The greatest inequalities in India

The Human Development Index (HDI) differs totally between a slum area like Kurla (0.29 in 2009) and Marina Drive, in the rich centre (0.89). Mumbai’s average score is 0.56.

A Slums

Dharavi is one of the largest slums in the world with an estimated population of 300,000 dwellers* to about 1 million. Epidemics and natural disasters are common, such as the epidemic cholera in 1986, massive floods in 2005 or a huge fire in January 2013. But Dharavi is a “rich” slum. Most of the residents are drivers, housecleaners or college students.

Pavement dwellers, the poorest people of Mumbai, live on the streets, in permanent tumbledown* shanties*.

B Upper and middle class areas

 The Malabar Hill district is an exclusive residential area. Antilia, a famous building complex owned by the chairman of Reliance Industries, is one of the most expensive homes in the world, with a staff of 600 people to maintain the residence.

 An important part of the new middle class lives in Navi Mumbai, a planned new township*, located in the eastern harbour of Mumbai.

  • a dweller = un habitant
  • tumbledown = délabré
  • a shanty = une cabane
  • township = municipalité


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