Mumbai is said to be the most populous and also the wealthiest city in India. Yet the civic standards and quality of life seem cumbersome as many are scraping to survive.
The 'City of Dreams' has today turned into a city seething with problems that has no immediate solutions, and Mumbaikars are reeking under the decay of India's financial capital.
The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Liveability Survey, has listed Mumbai among the worst cities in the world in 2012.
Mumbai goes to vote on 24 April for the General Elections 2014. Will the citizens of the 'City that Never Sleeps' be awake on this landmark day? We churn out the top six reasons why Mumbai should definitely vote in Elections 2014.
1. Unaffordable Housing and Rent
It has become impossible for the common man to afford a house in Mumbai. Moreover, Census 2011 reported that about 60% of Mumbai lives in slums, with limited access to the most basic civic amenities. In fact at the heart of Mumbai lies Asia's largest slum - Dharavi - a sore mark on the financial capital of India.
2. Clogged Lifeline of Mumbai: Trains and Transport
World Bank recently stated that Mumbai's suburban trains suffer from some of the most severe overcrowding in the world: 4500 passengers in trains that can bear only 1700 commuters.
The average Mumbaikar reported spends 3-4 hours just travelling to and fro from work. Overcrowded trains, heavy traffic and unpleasant commute is a hassle all Mumbaikars desparingly deal with every single day.
3. Toxic City - Thick Layers of Pollution
Excess of air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution and solid waste pollution is known to make Mumbai one of the most toxic cities in India. Civic authorities have to take concrete action to reverse this disturbing trend.
4. Island city facing Acute Water Cuts
Urban research and action collective groups report that 30 to 50% of loss of water is because of leakages in the pipelines, illegal water connections and mismanaged distribution of water.
Contaminated water supply especially across the slums in Mumbai has given birth to several diseases infesting the city today.
5. Rising Crime at the City's Underbelly
Indian Express reported a total number of 34,442 criminal cases recorded in 2013. Murder, rape and kidnapping and extortion with low conviction rates has made Mumbai a home for criminals. Underground crime gangs have to be curbed and power has to be transferred rightfully to the citizens of Mumbai instead.
6. 'Chalta Hai' attitude
In 2009, just months after the 26/11 terror attacks, less than 50% voters participated in the country's General elections and the city elections.
The politicians are well aware of this, and know who their votebanks are. So often, the urban and educated voters refrain from voting.
The apathy and the indifference Mumbaikars project has to stop. People have to break the habit of compromising with all the city's ills; people must take a stand and make their leaders pay attention to them.
Go and Vote, Mumbai!
Elections 2014 can be the road to redemption for Mumbai.
Mumbaikars have to rise up to the one occassion where the citizens can show their leaders that they are watching them, and are bringing them to power, with expectations and hopes of a better life for each one of the residents of Maximum City, Mumbai.
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