The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is the richest civic body in the world, with Rs 92,000 crore in FDs alone. But Mumbai still ranks 141st among global cities in terms of infrastructure, even as BMC spends Rs 1000 crore on its roads every year. Like most frustrated Mumbaikars spending hours in traffic thanks to broken roads and delayed projects, Tata Realty MD Sanjay Dutt has credited the city’s poor infrastructure for its high real estate rates.
Reflecting every Mumbaikar’s struggle
Speaking at a panel discussion, Dutt said that cities with the worst infrastructure have the highest property prices because people want to be closer to where they want to reach. He cited Mumbai, with India’s most expensive real estate, as an example of this, taking a jibe at the city’s notorious traffic snarls.
He also added that in Hyderabad, people could buy a home at lower rates in another part of the city as compared to a pricier one near HITEC City since they can reach the place in 15 minutes. His words may carry weight, as recently DMart’s CEO booked a house for more than Rs 70 crore near Mumbai’s evolving business hub of BKC.
A city stuck in a traffic loop
Mumbai’s infrastructure has been a cause for concern since 61 per cent roads in India’s financial capital are categorised as average or poor. Traffic congestion in Mumbai is the third worst globally at 53 per cent, and people are losing 121 hours a year in traffic snarls. This also means that an average Mumbaikar is spending 85 minutes every day stuck in traffic, and road closures as well as local train disruptions every time it rains make things worse.
Long-term infra projects causing immediate pain?
Stepping out in Mumbai, it’s hard to miss the congestion caused by ongoing construction on projects such as the underground metro and BMC’s coastal road project. British-era bridges have to be demolished since they are weak, but the reconstruction progresses at a snail’s pace causing more diversions and traffic. If the MD of a top real estate firm in Mumbai quips about poor infrastructure, imagine the woes of a common Mumbaikar.