Fixing Mumbai

Updated - November 17, 2021 06:25 am IST

Published - January 10, 2016 04:01 pm IST

The new year is still somewhat fresh; the hope with which we look ahead to fresh starts has not been more than mildly bruised. A good time, we thought, to take a look at the many problems that get in this city’s — and its citizens’ — way. In keeping with that optimistic spirit, we decided that we needed to not just point at shortcomings but find ways to make things better. To do this, we turned to some of the best minds in Mumbai, unquestioned authorities in their fields and, as important, people with a deep connection to the city and an affection for it, and asked them one question: looking through the lens of your domain expertise, what’s wrong with Mumbai, and how would you fix it?

Over the coming weeks, we will carry those answers in the Sunday pages of the newspaper. They will over a wide range of topics, as befits a huge and complex city, and feature the thoughts of people we all know and respect (or should). We hope that this series will encourage introspection and debate, with you, our Mumbai readers, with other experts, with the people who have the power and the means to effect change.

What do you think needs fixing?

It’s not just about what we think matters. We also want to hear from you, our fellow citizens of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, on what you think needs fixed and the experts you want to hear from. We're listening, here, and on social media: @Mumbai_Connect on Twitter or

What's your Mumbai Fix?

While we do have a strong list of experts have contributed and will do so in the future, perhaps you have ideas that are even better? To suggest a fix, write to us at with a short (not more than 50 words) statement of the problem and a longer (but not too long: a maximum of 200 words) description of your innovative solution for that problem.

Bring back the joy of giving

Much of Mumbai was built by philanthropists. But if the city’s huge inequities are any guide, we’ve become self-centred.

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The killing streets

To reduce the number of accident victims, we need to change our approach to decongesting roads, increasing safety and providing mobility to our pedestrians.

>Read more »

Leave no child behind

Children with disabilities should be given every opportunity to be part of the mainstream. To do this, it is necessary that our education system does not marginalise them, even with good intentions.

>Read more »

We must treat our consumer courts better

The Consumer Protection Act will be 30 years old this December. But Mumbai’s — and Maharashtra’s — consumers are being short changed because of the shoddy way our courts and officers are treated.

>Read more »

For a better Mumbai, fix the slums first

The government has plenty of schemes for slum redevelopment, but most of these are on paper. Importantly, sanitation is not on the agenda.

>Read more »

Free the police

An ever-lengthening charter of responsibilities and creaky prosecution machinery and prison systems have diverted scarce police personnel from their core function: criminal investigation.

>Read more »

Justice delayed and denied

Citizens with genuine grievances are shown the door, our judges have no experience of criminal jurisprudence, and the accused languish in jail for years.

>Read more »

A force for good

For an effective police machinery, we need to upgrade existing systems and re-visit archaic laws, besides giving a thought to basic facilities for an overstretched force.

>Read more »

Social enterprises can solve societal problems

There are a number of obstacles facing social entrepreneurs; here’s how we can help them take root and flourish.

>Read more »

Games people don’t play

As a society, we need to radically improve our attitude towards sports.

>Read more »

Prescriptions for a healthier city

The city, where world-class medical care comes at a steep price, needs good-quality services that are equitable and affordable.

>Read more »

Teach (all) the children well

A just society would ensure basic education for all. How can we get closer to that ideal?

>Read more »

A menu for change

Restaurants carry three points out of ten in a city’s livability index, according to a TED talk. But of the top 10 restaurants in the city in 2012, only two survive in 2016.

>Read more »

Unlocking Mumbai's cultural potential

Our city has both heritage and culture in abundance. How do we best use this legacy for the benefit of all of us?

>Read more »

Electricity from waste

The 9,000 tonnes of waste that Mumbai generates can be used to meet its peak power requirement through efficient segregation of waste at source, and waste-to-energy plants.

>Read more »

Building blocks for a cleaner Mumbai

Our garbage continues to cause us problems. But what if we could find a way to use it constructively?

>Read more »

Unjamming the megapolis

Commuting is arguably the Mumbai's biggest pain point. And it is getting worse. Is there a way out?

>Read more »

Build business, bureaucracy partnerships

Of all the concerns with bureaucratic departments, the lack of domain knowledge seems most easy to fix and can have long-term results.

>Read more »

Development shouldn’t dwarf urban villages

Koliwadas and gaothans in Mumbai are on the road to oblivion, thanks to monolithic Development Control rules and building by-laws.

>Read more »

Affordable housing must be distributed and inclusive

There will always be rich and poor in a city, but shared spaces make for a more compassionate society, writes Shirish Patel.

>Read more »

Breaking the noise barrier

Noise levels in Mumbai are reducing every year due to increasing public awareness about noise pollution and peak noise levels. Hopefully, 2016 will see a dramatic fall.

>Read more »

Blind in the fold of justice

Protection of women’s legal rights in various courts continues to be mired in confusing legalities, expensive lawyers and tunnel vision in dealing with domestic violence.

>Read more »

Give Mumbai’s heritage its glory

While Mumbaikars share an intimate relationship with the city’s heritage, myopic policies have brought it to the brink. We find out why it is important for Mumbaikars to turn custodians of the rich heritage.

>Read more »

Give women equal access to public spaces

Women need a zero-tolerance policy towards everyday harassment and a focus on enabling infrastructure.

>Read more »
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