Mumbai, also known as Bombay, is one of India’s most populous and wealthiest cities. The city is located on a narrow strip of land along the Arabian Sea and is home to over 20 million people. Despite its status as a financial hub, Mumbai is facing a severe problem – it is sinking.
There are several reasons for Mumbai’s sinking, most related to urbanisation and human activities. One of the primary reasons is the city’s rapid expansion, which has led to the destruction of mangroves and wetlands. These natural ecosystems act as sponges, soaking up excess water during the monsoon season. However, the destruction of these ecosystems has led to flooding and water logging in the city.
Another major reason for Mumbai’s sinking is the reckless construction of high-rise buildings on weak and unstable ground. Many of these buildings have been constructed on reclaimed land or marshy areas unsuitable for construction. The weight of these structures has caused the land to sink, leading to structural instability and the risk of collapse.
Moreover, Mumbai’s underground water resources are being depleted alarmingly. The city’s growing population and water demand have led to excessive groundwater extraction, causing the land to sink. In addition, the construction of buildings and infrastructure has led to the sealing off natural recharge areas, preventing rainwater from replenishing the groundwater table.
Another contributing factor is the unchecked garbage and construction debris dumping in rivers, creeks, and wetlands. This has led to the degradation of these natural ecosystems and caused blockages in the city’s drainage system, leading to flooding during the monsoon season.
Finally, climate change is exacerbating Mumbai’s sinking problem. Rising sea levels and increased precipitation have made flooding and waterlogging more frequent and severe.
In conclusion, Mumbai’s sinking is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted solution. The city needs to adopt sustainable urban planning and development practices prioritising the conservation of natural ecosystems and the responsible use of land and water resources. It is also crucial to regulate the construction of high-rise buildings on weak and unstable ground, enforce laws against illegal dumping of waste and construction debris, and invest in flood management and drainage infrastructure. By taking these measures, Mumbai can address its sinking problem and ensure a sustainable future for its citizens.