Mumbai

From expansion to transformation

Addressing crucial issues: (From left) Lina Mathias, Sidharth Bhatia, R.A. Rajeev, Awanish Kumar.  

One of the main ways of turning Mumbai into an ‘equipolis’ was to extend public transport by expanding the Metro corridors, said R.A. Rajeev, Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

Mr. Rajeev was among the speakers at a seminar, ‘Mumbai in Transition’, organised by Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) and the Department of Public Policy, St. Xavier’s College. Civil servants, academics, activists and journalists discussed the nature of urban planning, civil society practices and challenges of bringing about social transformation in the city.

Mr. Rajeev highlighted the transport-oriented development planning of the city with the slew of Metro corridors that were in various stages of execution.

“In Mumbai, 12 persons travel per sq m in trains, and the public transport capacity is struggling to keep up with the increasing population. The work on multiple Metro lines across the city is expected to reduce congestion to 50% from the existing 75%”, he said.

Prachi Merchant, Urban Planner at the All Indian Institute of Local Self Government and Lina Mathias, Executive Editor, Economic and Political Weekly, highlighted the range of issues faced by women in the city. “The nature of migration into the city has changed with the increasing number of single women migrants,” Ms. Mathias said. She also said it wasn’t just spaces for protest that had shrunk in the city; the spirit of protest had done so too.

Ms. Merchant explained the participatory planning process through the efforts of the Hamara Shehar Abhiyan Campaign, which demanded social amenities for women in the city’s Development Plan.

Sidharth Bhatia, Editor, The Wire, said there was a need for more transparency and better communication between citizens and city planners so that one can assess whether developmental change is being inclusive and participatory, and will be for the benefit of all.

The seminar is part of YUVA’s ComplexCity, an annual festival to engage with city audiences on several urban issues and practices, which has been running since February 13.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 10:22:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/from-expansion-to-transformation/article26369019.ece

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