There are now more than 20 million people living in Mumbai, traffic is so gridlocked it can take two hours to drive from the city centre to its airport, and the constant tide of new immigrants chasing their Bollywood dream has sent rents soaring.
The state government had built a new city, Navi Mumbai, on its outskirts, to ease the pressure, but the influx of people seeking new lives and fortunes in India’s most glamorous city has prompted calls for a second overspill. Navi Mumbai’s population has already risen beyond a million.
Now Maharashtra’s state minister for housing has backed calls for another new city to be constructed 50 miles away in Uran, a fishing village of 23,000 people just across Mumbai’s Dharamtar Creek. If the plan succeeds, it its expected to grow to a quarter of the size of Mumbai itself.
The minister, Sachin Ahir, said the private sector will help build a new metropolis on a 100 square kilometre site.
Uran already has a major port and Maharashtra’s housing authority is already planning new housing estates in the town. Roads and boat links to Mumbai will be boosted by new rail services to Navi Mumbai.