Ten Signs That Our City Is Going To The Dogs…
Earlier this week, we learned that the number of dog bite cases in Mumbai are on an exponential rise. It’s just one of many signs, as recorded through news reports in just the last week, that our city is becoming more unlivable. Brace yourself for a list of reasons why it’s all going to the dogs, literally and figuratively.
The Likelihood of Getting Bitten By A Dog Just Went Up
An average of 221 people were bitten by stray dogs every day in Mumbai in 2011. The alarming number of dog bite cases corresponds to the increase in the population of canines, which has doubled to 1.5 lakh from 75,000 in 2007 when a census of Mumbai’s strays was carried out.
As Did the Likelihood of Your Contracting A Respiratory Disease
It might take your breath away to learn that Mumbai’s air quality, which was quite poor to begin with, has worsened in the last year. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Environmental Status Report for 2011, the level of air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, suspended particulate matter and carcinogenic compounds like benzopyrene and nickel have significantly increased over the last year. The number of cars in Mumbai, which increases by 5.6 per cent every year, is apparently the cause.
Probably Because We Have Rug-Sized Open Spaces
According to a study commissioned by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the city has just nine square feet of open space per person. That’s roughly the area of an average-sized rug. The study says that the city has 30 square kilometres of open spaces, of which only ten are available to the public. That’s because the rest has been encroached upon. Surprisingly, the study notes that most residents are just a five-minute walk away from open areas such as parks, playgrounds, beaches and gardens. We reckon that they’re counting those tiny, scruffy, lawn-less gardens that pass off as open spaces in Mumbai.
Watch Your Back Too, We’ve Got 1,000 New Pothole Babies
Mumbai experienced the wettest 24 hours of the monsoon this year between the evenings of Sunday, August 27 and Monday, August 28. Heavy showers opened up gaping potholes on the roads, rubbishing the BMC’s claims that the city was prepared for the monsoon. According to a report in Hindustan Times, we got a 1,000 new potholes in just two days.
Which Will No Doubt Grow With The Next Bout of Flooding
As always it took just a few hours of heavy rain on Monday, August 28 to flood parts of Mumbai. Low-lying areas like Hindmata in Parel had no less than waist-deep water. Traffic in these parts slowed to a crawl and trains were delayed.
Flooding That You Can Partly Blame On Our Massive Garbage Problem
If you’ve noticed more piles of uncollected garbage than usual of late, it’s because the contractors the BMC hires to get rid of waste don’t have enough compactors. The worst-affected areas are the central neighborhoods of Dadar, Prabhadevi, Wadala, Antop Hill and Matunga. The city generates 6,500 tons of waste every day. But there’s a huge shortage of space to dump garbage as the city’s largest landfill in Deonar is almost full. It’s not just neighbourhoods that are overflowing with garbage but also nullahs that are vital to the city’s drainage. Priya Dutt is currently campaigning for the widening and cleaning of the nullah beneath the train tracks between Bandra and Khar. The garbage-filled nullah overflows every monsoon flooding the slums on its banks.
Oh, And Swine Flu’s Back!
Two people have died of swine flu and more than 300 have tested positive for the H1N1 virus so far in this year. In comparison, last year had just six positive cases.
Don’t Forget To Watch Your Neck As Well, Chain Snatching’s On The Rise
In the unlikely event that a countrywide study on chain snatching is carried out, we won’t be surprised if Mumbai tops the list. The police registered 743 cases of chain snatching between January and May this year as opposed to 649 in the same duration in 2011. The latest story concerns Malad resident Sumitra Kumbhar, whose chain was snatched by Wilfred Joseph, a murder convict who had arrived in the city after jumping parole in Bangalore. Joseph was nabbed by a passer-by.
No Matter, ’Cause When The Thief Sells Your Gold, He’ll Probably Get Paid Fake Cash
Mumbai has the dubious distinction of being the capital of counterfeit money in the country. The city and the rest of Maharashtra account for the most number of fake notes seized in recent years. Security agencies say that the currency is manufactured in Pakistan and routed to Indian metros via small towns in order to ruin India’s economy.
Last But Not Least, Our Beloved Auto-Wallahs Are Planning Another Strike
Get ready for yet another auto-rickshaw strike. Auto-rickshaw drivers are planning to keep off the roads on Monday, September 3, Wednesday, September 5 and Tuesday, September 11 to demand a fare hike, more auto permits, action against cops who harass them and companies that sell defective electronic meters. Never mind that despite frequent increases in the fares, the majority of rickshaw drivers continue to refuse customers who want to travel short distances, while some use tampered meters and fake tariff cards.