Need new satellite city to decongest Mumbai, says urban planner

Pedro Ortiz, international consultant, says the ever-growing city of Mumbai with a population of 1.2 crore now needs a new satellite city like Navi Mumbai
The creation of Navi Mumbai in the 1970s had helped decongest the city to some extend as people started living and working in the same belt.(HT FILE)
The creation of Navi Mumbai in the 1970s had helped decongest the city to some extend as people started living and working in the same belt.(HT FILE)
Updated on Mar 29, 2019 07:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Just as the growing population of Mumbai post-Independence resulted in the creation of a new satellite city, Navi Mumbai, in the 1970s, there is now a need for a new Navi Mumbai to decongest it further, said Pedro B Ortiz, senior urban planner and international consultant, on Thursday.

The creation of Navi Mumbai in the 1970s had helped decongest the city to some extend as people started living and working in the same belt. The ever-growing city of Mumbai with a population of 1.2 crore now needs a new Navi Mumbai, he said.

Ortiz, speaking at an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a city-based think tank, on the topic ‘Re-imagining Mumbai as Indian Ocean Capital’, said, “Every year, close to 4,00,000 people come to Mumbai in search of a job. That is 1,00,000 families for which the city needs to create more houses. This is not possible in Mumbai. It has to expand further to provide quality of life.”

The speaker was also a part of the Brainshop organised by the Maharashtra State government, Government of India and European Union where it was decided that Mumbai has to be the capital of the Indian Ocean.

The planner also proposed the idea of a Saraswati Valley in the new area that can host industries and create more jobs. “The city is under a lot of pressure. Its problems have to be solved outside Mumbai,” Ortiz said. He emphasised on India’s need to strengthen its metropolitan cities to become a leading world power.

According to Ortiz, Mumbai needs 14 sqkm of service land every year to meet its increasing growth and avoid slum encroachment. The city has a built-up area of 450 sqkm.

Ortiz also emphasised on the need for authorities to pay attention to the impact of climate change in the city. “I have noticed that there is not much discussion on climate change in Mumbai, which can have a disastrous affect on the city. Mumbai is in a terrible situation and the impact of climate change has to be studied,” he said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released in 2018, suggests that coastal megacities like Mumbai are particularly vulnerable to global warming.

Commenting on Ortiz’s proposals, an urban planner who attended the event said, “The ideas are theoretically and academically good but difficult to achieve on-ground for cities like Mumbai.”

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