About Mumbai Suburbs

Mumbai Suburbs has experienced exponential growth rate during last two decades due to high level of industrial development and growth in the suburban areas of greater Mumbai jurisdiction.

Mumbai Suburban population growth:


Mumbai City District

Mumbai Suburban District





Total Population (000)





 % constituted of total Maharashtra Population





Table shows that According to 2011 census Mumbai Suburbs had a population of 9,356,962. In 2001 census, Mumbai Suburbs had a population of 8,640,419. This population constituted 8.33 percent of total Maharashtra population. As per the 2011 census data Mumbai City District population constituted 2.75 percent of total Maharashtra population. In 2001 census, this figure for Mumbai City District was at 3.45 percent of total Maharashtra population, it has shown the population is decreasing of Mumbai city.

The population growth in the city is largely constituted by the growth in suburban areas (7 to 8) per cent per annum during 1951 to 1971 and about 2 to 3 per cent per annum during the last two. Today, over two-thirds of the city’s population resides in the suburbs.

It has been seen that the majority of the population from Mumbai City is shifting towards Mumbai Suburbs due to increasing need of extended families, houses, unaffordable housing and lifestyle.

Mumbai is a dream city. About 1000 families from rural Maharashtra and other states of India come to Mumbai every day to full fill their dreams. Majority of them are unable to pay exorbitant prices to buy a house or rent in City, so most of them are forced to stay in Slums. Those who will not stay in Slums, the white collar people, are forced to purchase houses at premium prices and pay high EMI’s for the rest of their lives. Existing limited infrastructure does not have the capacity to provide quality of life to all the citizens. Therefore, the citizens of suburbs lack the basic amenities such as Health & Sanitation, Education, Transportation and Education, Clean Environment and more.


In Mumbai, 11 million people travel daily by public transport, 4 million by BEST and 7 million by Western and Central Railways. This share amounts to more than 85% of people commuting in the City/Suburbs on public transport. Suburban rail traffic increased by 6 times while the carrying capacity increased by only 2.3 times. In today’s time, 4500 passengers travel per train against the carrying capacity of 1750 resulting in unbearable overcrowding. (YUVA: 2014).


Mumbai Suburban parts are more marginalized than Mumbai City. In comparison to Mumbai City, major slum pockets are located in Mumbai Suburban area. Due to lack of vision, poor infrastructure planning and poor implementation, Municipal Schools are unable to give quality education to weaker sections of the community. Improving the standard of education and infrastructure is a big challenge for the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai. Simultaneously, along with the growing population, there is an increasing demand to open new schools with favorable amenities to reach out to each and every child of the city.

There is a scarcity of schools and an imbalance between primary and secondary education in Mumbai Suburbs. According to 2011 census, Mumbai District Population is 33, 38,031 persons and the Mumbai Suburban population is 86, 40,419. If an estimate of 22.5% of this population is children aged between 3 to 18 years, it means that there is a school going ( http://www.diehardindian.com-editorial-jul2006.php.)

2011-12 Schools Students Teachers
BMC primary 1,185 391,111 11,849
BMC secondary (old) 49 38,902 912
BMC secondary (new) 97 20,734 371
BMC aided 427 191,892 3,813
Unaided 629 278,040 6,282

Population of 7, 51,057 in North and Central Mumbai and 19, 44,094 in the Mumbai Suburbs. It is estimated that Mumbai has less than half the required number of schools for this population and has severe shortfall of secondary schools. Presently only about 1248 government run primary and about 49 secondary schools are running. The huge Gap between the primary and secondary schools are the major reason for high school Dropout ratio. (YUVA -2014)


Affordable housing is one of the most important issues for Mumbai and it is also the most complex and challenging problem. Nearly 52 lakh people in Mumbai live in slums in conditions that lack security, infrastructure, peace, dignity and quality of life. More than 42% of Mumbai’s housing comprises of slums. Rs.28 lakhs is the average price of a 269 square foot dwelling in Mumbai. At this high price, a vast majority of Mumbaikars whose (median) annual income is Rs. 2.4 lakhs cannot afford this house. Considering the accepted norm while financing homes is up to 4 times the annual income, this is nearly 12 times that, thus making even this basic house way out of reach for a vast majority of Mumbaikars. (Praja waite paper: 2015). Majority of household have access to drinking water facility through common connection but it is not available regularly and in insufficient quantity. Maharashtra Governments Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, implemented 20 years ago, has failed miserably. A major revamp or scrapping of this policy is required. At the moment, Free houses are being given to “eligible” slum dwellers, open spaces continue to be encroached as they are assured Free houses and the angst of white collar workers, who end up paying the entire cost of these Free houses, is increasing day by day.

Water and Sanitation is another major challenge in Mumbai. According to the planning commission, 43% of households in urban areas have no latrines or no connection to a septic tank or sewerage (Yesudhas: 2014).

We are networking with Mumbai Transformation Support Unit, (MTSU) and other NGOg’s like Hamara Shaher Hamara Vikas and Praja to formulate sustainable Housing Development Plan for Mumbai Metropolitan Region. We are urging the GOM to undertake study of efficacy of SRA scheme, incorporate the concerns of Middle Income and Higher Income groups in addition to Lower income groups to formulate a comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan for MMR.


Under the guise of infrastructure development and building affordable housing, there is systematic destruction of Mumbai’s mangrove cover, unhindered pollution of rivers and uprooting decades old trees. Authorities’ current insistence to uproot 2500 trees in Aarey Colony to make way for Metro III shed came against stiff opposition from Save Aarey movement. More than 3500 Rain trees have died due to infection of Mealy bugs. The roots of these trees are covered with concrete and paver blocks, which have chocked the roots and made them weak, susceptible to infection. In spite of court order to remove concretization from around the roots, the Garden department is dragging its feet and allowing more trees to die. The rivers of Mumbai are polluted with human and industrial waste and very little effort is being made to stanch the flow of waste into the rivers. These rivers are now mere nallas covered with filth. Although there is a solid waste management mechanism in place in certain parts of the City/Suburbs, Mumbai continues to be the filthiest city in the Country. Very little effort is being made to sensitize the people about SWM.


The municipal health infrastructure in Mumbai consists of 3 major hospitals each with a teaching institution and one dental hospital with a teaching institution. Apart from this, 16 peripheral hospitals in suburbs and extended suburbs and 5 specialized hospitals for tuberculosis, leprosy, ENT, eye care and. Kasturba hospital for infectious diseases are provided and managed by MCGM.

Around 21,200 out-patients are treated every day in hospitals and dispensaries of MCGM. There are 27 maternity homes, 162 municipal dispensaries and 56 outreach health posts and 112 IPP- V health posts including 5 PVOs, 24 Post Partum Centers (PPC) which provide door to door service of family welfare, immunization, and MCH. There are 57 government & non-government reporting centers. Private hospitals and PMPs also provide health care services.

The total bed capacity in the municipal hospitals is about 10,600 which constitute about 28 % of the total hospital beds. As against norms for provision (WHO norm - 1/550 populations per bed) the ratio for Mumbai works out to about 1/3000 population. This suggests a huge gap in provision and access to health care.

The existing health infrastructure of the city was planned between1950 to 1980 to cater population of about 52 to 70 lakh while the facilities are currently used by about 13 million people. It is therefore essential to drastically increase and upgrade the health infrastructure and also prioritize the improvement of services at the primary level which will include a package of improvement of physical infrastructure trained staff and public private partnerships to ensure quality and responsibility of the services.

Total beds – approx. -40,000
Govt. - 22%
MCGM - 28%
Private - 50%
WHO Norms - 1/550
Maharashtra - 1/1200


Conclusion: Forum for IQOLM/S, started in year 2004, has been working on Improving Quality of Life in Mumbai Suburbs on issues mentioned above. We believe that the index of quality of life should be proportionate to economic development of Mumbai Suburbs.





Ronald Yesudhas : (2014), Water and Sanitation in Mumbai’s Slums: Education through Inquiry Based Learning in Social Work, The Qualitative Report 2014 Volume 19, Article 89, 1-10 http://www.nova.edu-ssss-QR-QR19-yesudhas89.pdf,

Mumbai: Local train accidents claimed 9 lives per day in 2014, DNA -Sunday, 25 January 2015 - (http://www.dnaindia.com-mumbai-report-mumbai-local-train-accidents-claimed-9-lives-per-day-in-2014-2055522)

Healthcare Sector in India with Specific Reference to Mumbai, State of Maharashtra (http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in-bitstream-10603-7213-10-10-chapter%204.pdf)


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