3.438260869575 (1725)
Posted by pompos 02/26/2009 @ 00:56

Tags : mumbai, india, asia, world

News headlines
Authorities Demolish 'Slumdog' Star's Home in Mumbai - New York Times
By VIKAS BIJAJ MUMBAI, India — In a scene reminiscent of the gritty landscape from the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” municipal workers on Thursday demolished the home of one of the young children who starred in the rags-to-riches tale....
Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by two runs - ESPN
May 14 - Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by two runs in their Indian Premier League match at Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday. Rajasthan Royals 145-7 (R. Quiney 51); Mumbai Indians 143 (Reporting by Jason Humphries; Edited by Patrick Johnston To...
Tendulkar admits Mumbai lost 'crunch moments' - AFP
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AFP) — Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar admitted his team lost the "crunch moments" during an Indian Premier League campaign which effectively came to an end when they were beaten by Chennai Super Kings at St...
Mumbai goes to UPA, courtesy MNS - Times of India
MUMBAI: The UPA, which has got a pan-India mandate to form the government at the Centre, will have to be grateful to a party that unabashedly claims to speak only for Marathis for the clean sweep of Mumbai. The Congress-NCP combine won all the six...
MTNL Mumbai's 3G Tariff Lower than Delhi -
MTNL has announced the launch of 3G services in Mumbai today, which will be commercially available to existing and new subscribers June 1 onwards. Curious to get your hands on the tariff they're offering? Before you lay your hungry eyes on on the Jadoo...
Mumbai terror group 'exploits refugee crisis' - Gulf Daily News
MARDAN: A banned charity with alleged links to the Mumbai terror attacks is helping people fleeing the fighting between the Pakistani military and the Taliban, group members said yesterday, raising questions about the government's pledge to crack down...
Mumbai looks to stability, peace - Times of India
MUMBAI: Poll results are out and most Mumbaikars feel that it was vote by India for a stable government and against divisive politics. And everyone from housemaids and cabbies to well-heeled lawyers and academicians hope that the new government will...
Mumbai terror case: clerical error triggers bitter debate - Hindu
Mumbai: A clerical error triggered high courtroom drama during the hearing of the Mumbai terror attack case on Friday. An exasperated Abbas Kazmi, defence counsel for Mohammad Ajmal Amir 'Kasab,' declared before the court that he would withdraw from...
India Reform Candidates Raise Awareness But Not Votes - Wall Street Journal
By ERIC BELLMAN and SONYA MISQUITTA MUMBAI -- Hopes for a new batch of independent, reform-minded politicians who would break the status quo in New Delhi have largely been dashed, in part because India's middle class has yet to find its political voice...
Art for the spirit of Mumbai - Times of India
The vibrant works by the French artist captured the various moods and scenes typical to Mumbai right from the humble taxis to the signature red buses. The event saw an eclectic mix of people who were mostly chilling at the portico, sipping on French...


Since the 1970s, Mumbai has witnessed a construction boom and a significant influx of migrants, making it India's largest city.

Mumbai (Marathi: मुंबई, Mumbaī, IPA: (help·info))— formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India. The city proper has approximately 14 million people and, along with the neighbouring suburbs of Navi Mumbai and Thane, Mumbai forms the world's 4th largest urban agglomeration with around 19 million people. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. Mumbai's port handles over half of India's maritime cargo.

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India, generating 5% of India's GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy. Mumbai is home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies and numerous multinational corporations. The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a better standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.

The name Mumbai is an eponym, etymologically derived from Mumba or Maha-Amba—the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi—and Aai, "mother" in Marathi. The former name Bombay had its origins in the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived in the area and called it by various names, which finally took the written form Bombaim, still common in current Portuguese use. After the British gained possession in the 17th century, it was anglicised to Bombay, although it was known as Mumbai or Mambai to Marathi and Gujarati-speakers, and as Bambai in Hindi, Persian and Urdu. It is sometimes still referred to by its older names, like Kakamuchee and Galajunkja. The name was officially changed to its Marathi pronunciation of Mumbai in 1996.

A widespread explanation of the origin of the traditional English name Bombay holds that it was derived from a Portuguese name meaning "good bay". This is based on the fact that bom (masc.) is Portuguese for "good" whereas the English word "bay" is similar to the Portuguese baía (fem., bahia in old spelling). The normal Portuguese rendering of "good bay" would have been boa bahia rather than the grammatically incorrect bom bahia. However, it is possible to find the form baim (masc.) for "little bay" in sixteenth-century Portuguese.

Other sources have a different origin for the Portuguese toponym Bombaim. José Pedro Machado's Dicionário Onomástico Etimológico da Língua Portuguesa ("Portuguese Dictionary of Onomastics and Etymology") mentions what is probably the first Portuguese reference to the place, dated from 1516, as Benamajambu or Tena-Maiambu, pointing out that "MAIAMBU"' seems to refer to Mumba-Devi, the Hindu goddess after which the place is named in Marathi (Mumbai). In that same century, the spelling seems to have evolved to Mombayn (1525) and then Mombaim (1563). The final form Bombaim appears later in the 16th century, as recorded by Gaspar Correia in his Lendas da Índia ("Legends of India"). J.P. Machado seems to reject the "Bom Bahia" hypothesis, asserting that Portuguese records mentioning the presence of a bay at the place led the English to assume that the noun (bahia, "bay") was an integral part of the Portuguese toponym, hence the English version Bombay, adapted from Portuguese.

Artifacts found near Kandivali in northern Mumbai indicate that these islands had been inhabited since the Stone Age. Documented evidence of human habitation dates back to 250 BC, when it was known as Heptanesia (Ptolemy) (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands). In the 3rd century BC, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka. During its first few centuries, control over Mumbai was disputed between the Indo-Scythian, Western Satraps and the Satavahanas. The Hindu rulers of the Silhara Dynasty later governed the islands until 1343, when Gujarat annexed them. Some of the oldest edifices of the archipelago – the Elephanta Caves and the Walkeshwar temple complex date from this era.

In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. They were ceded to Charles II of England in 1661, as dowry for Catherine de Braganza. These islands, were in turn leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of |£10 per annum. The company found the deep harbour on the east coast of the islands to be ideal for setting up their first port in the sub-continent. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675; In 1687, the British East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Mumbai. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency.

From 1817 onwards, the city was reshaped with large civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the islands in the archipelago into a single amalgamated mass. This project, known as the Hornby Vellard, was completed by 1845, and resulted in the total area swelling to 438 km². In 1853, India's first passenger railway line was established, connecting Mumbai to the town of Thane. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the city became the world's chief cotton trading market, resulting in a boom in the economy and subsequently enhancing the city's stature.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea. Over the next thirty years, the city grew into a major urban centre, spurred by an improvement in infrastructure and the construction of many of the city's institutions. The population of the city swelled to one million by 1906, making it the second largest in India after Calcutta. As capital of the Bombay Presidency, it was a major base for the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement called by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 being its most rubric event. After India's independence in 1947, it became the capital of Bombay State. In the 1950's the city expanded to its present limits by incorporating parts of Salsette island which lay to the north.

After 1955, when the State of Bombay was being re-organised along linguistic lines into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, there was a demand that the city be constituted as an autonomous city-state. Bombay Citizens' commitee, an advocacy group comprising of leading Gujarati industrialists lobbied for Mumbai's independent status. However, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement opposed this, and insisted that Mumbai be declared the capital of Maharashtra. Following protests in which 105 people were killed by police firing, Maharashtra state was formed with Mumbai as its capital on May 1, 1960. In 1996, the city was renamed Mumbai by the Shiv Sena government of Maharashtra, in keeping with their policy of renaming colonial institutions after historic local names and also was the demand of the local population.

The city's secular fabric was torn apart in the riots of 1992–93, after large scale sectarian violence caused extensive loss of life and property. A few months later, a series of co-ordinated bombings at several city landmarks by Islamic extremists and the Bombay underworld killed around three hundred people. Over two hundred people were killed in the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings when several bombs exploded on the Mumbai Suburban Railway. Recently the city has seen a series of politically motivated assaults on the North Indian population by the members of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. From 26 November through 29 November, 2008, a group of armed Islamic terrorists launched attacks in the southern part of Mumbai, murdering nearly 200 people, injuring hundreds and taking hostages in multiple locations including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, Leopold Café and the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House.

Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River off the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. It sits on Salsette Island, partially shared with the district of Thane. Much of the city lies just above sea level, with average elevations ranging from 10 m (33 ft) to 15 m (49 ft). Northern Mumbai is hilly, and the highest point in the city is 450 m (1,476 ft). The city spans a total area of 603 km² (233  sq mi).

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located near to the city, and covers almost 1/6th of the city area. It is to be noted big cats such as panthers are still residing in this national park next to millions of people in an age of habitat shrinkage and species extinction.

Apart from the Bhatsa Dam, six major lakes supply water to the city: Vihar, Vaitarna, Upper Vaitarna, Tulsi, Tansa and Powai. Tulsi Lake and Vihar Lake are located in Borivili National Park, within the city's metropolitan limits. The supply from Powai lake, also within the city limits, is used only for industrial purposes. Three small rivers, the Dahisar, Poinsar (or Poisar) and Ohiwara (or Oshiwara) originate within the park, while the now infamous Mithi River originates from Tulsi Lake and gathers water overflowing from Vihar and Powai Lakes. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays. The eastern coast of Salsette Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity. The western coast is mostly sandy and rocky.

Soil cover in the city region is predominantly sandy due to its proximity to the sea. In the suburbs, the soil cover is largely alluvial and loamy. The underlying rock of the region is composed of black Deccan basalt flows, and their acid and basic variants dating back to the late Cretaceous and early Eocene eras. Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone owing to the presence of three fault lines in the vicinity. The area is classified as a Zone III region, which means an earthquake of up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter-scale may be expected.

Lying in a tropical zone and the near the Arabian Sea, Mumbai's climate falls into two main seasons: the humid and the dry season. The humid season, between March and October, is characterized by high humidity and temperatures of over 30 °C (86 °F). Between June and September, the monsoon rains lash the city supplying most of the city's annual rainfall of 2,200 millimetres (86.6 in). The maximum annual rainfall ever recorded was 3,452 millimetres (135.9 in) in 1954. The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 944 millimetres (37.17 in) on July 26, 2005. The dry season, between November and February, is characterized by moderate levels of humidity and warm to cool weather. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill during January and February.

Annual temperatures range from a high of 38 °C (100 °F) to a low of 11 °C (52 °F). The record high is 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) and record low is 7.4 °C (45.3 °F) on January 22, 1962. Though 7.4 °C (45.3 °F) is the lowest recorded by one of the two official meteorological weather stations, a low of 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) was recorded on February 8, 2008 at a weather station near Kanheri Caves that lies within city limits.

Mumbai is India's largest city. It serves as an important economic hub of the country, contributing 10% of all factory employment, 40% of all income tax collections, 60% of all customs duty collections, 20% of all central excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and Rs. 40 billion (US$ 800 million) in corporate taxes. Mumbai's per-capita income is Rs. 48,954 (US$ 980) which is almost three times the national average. Many of India's numerous conglomerates (including State Bank Of India, LIC, Tata Group, Godrej and Reliance), and four of the Fortune Global 500 companies are based in Mumbai. Many foreign banks and financial institutions also have branches in this area, the World Trade Centre (Mumbai) being the most prominent one. Until the 1980s, Mumbai owed its prosperity largely to textile mills and the seaport, but the local economy has since been diversified to include engineering, diamond-polishing, healthcare and information technology. Mumbai is home to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and most of India's specialized, technical industries, having a modern industrial infrastructure and vast, skilled human resources. Rising venture capital firms, start-ups and established brands work in aerospace, optical engineering, medical research, computers and electronic equipment of all varieties, shipbuilding and salvaging, and renewable energy and power.

State and central government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce. Mumbai also has a large unskilled and semi-skilled self employed population, who primarily earn their livelihood as hawkers, taxi drivers, mechanics and other such blue collar professions. The port and shipping industry, too, employs many residents, directly or indirectly. In Dharavi, in central Mumbai, there is an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of the city; the district has an estimated 15,000 single-room factories.

The media industry is another major employer in Mumbai. Most of India's major television and satellite networks, as well as its major publishing houses, are headquartered here. The centre of the Hindi movie industry, Bollywood produces the largest number of films per year in the world; and the name Bollywood is a portmanteau of Bombay and Hollywood. Marathi television and Marathi film industry are also based in Mumbai.

Mumbai consists of two distinct regions: the city and the suburbs, which also form two separate districts of Maharashtra. The city region is also commonly referred to as the Island City. Mumbai, both island city and suburbs as a whole, is administered by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) (formerly the Bombay Municipal Corporation), with executive power vested in the Municipal Commissioner, who is an IAS officer appointed by the state government. The Corporation comprises 227 directly elected Councillors representing the twenty four municipal wards, five nominated Councillors, and a titular Mayor. The BMC is in charge of the civic and infrastructure needs of the metropolis. An Assistant Municipal Commissioner oversees each ward for administrative purposes. Almost all the state political parties field candidates in the elections for Councillors. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region consists of 7 Municipal Corporations and 13 Municipal Councils. In addition to the BMC, it includes the Municipal Corporations of Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayandar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Ulhasnagar.

Greater Mumbai forms two districts of Maharashtra, each under the jurisdiction of a District Collector. The Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Central Government, and oversee the national elections held in the city.

The Mumbai Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, who is an IPS officer. The Mumbai Police comes under the state Home Ministry. The city is divided into seven police zones and seventeen traffic police zones, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Mumbai Police. The Mumbai Fire Brigade department is headed by the Chief Fire Officer, who is assisted by four Deputy Chief Fire Officers and six Divisional Officers.

Mumbai is the seat of the Bombay High Court, which exercises jurisdiction over the states of Maharashtra and Goa, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Mumbai also has two lower courts, the Small Causes Court for civil matters, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases. Mumbai also has a special TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities) court for people accused of conspiring and abetting acts of terrorism in the city.

The city elects six members to the Lok Sabha and thirty-four members to the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (State Assembly). Mumbai is headed by mayor Shubha Raul, Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak, and Sheriff Indu Shahani.

Public transport systems in Mumbai include the Mumbai Suburban Railway, BEST buses, taxis, auto rickshaws, ferries, and aeroplanes. A metro and monorail are currently under construction.

Mumbai is the headquarters of two railway zones: the Central Railway (CR) headquartered at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and the Western Railway (WR) headquartered near Churchgate. The backbone of the city's transport, the Mumbai Suburban Railway, is composed of three separate networks running the length of the city, in a north-south direction. The Mumbai Metro, an underground and elevated railway system that is currently under construction, will run from Versova to Andheri to Ghatkopar when the first phase is completed in 2009. The Mumbai Monorail will run from Jacob Circle to Wadala when it is completed. Mumbai is well connected to most parts of India by the Indian Railways. Trains originate from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai Central, Bandra terminus and Andheri. Mumbai's suburban rail systems carry a total of 6.3 million passengers every day.

Public buses run by BEST cover almost all parts of the metropolis, as well as parts of Navi Mumbai and Thane. Buses are used for commuting short to medium distances, while train fares are more economical for long distance commutes. The BEST runs a total of 3,408 buses, ferrying 4.5 million passengers daily over 340 routes. Its fleet consists of single-decker, double-decker, vestibule, low-floor, disabled-friendly, air-conditioned and the Euro III compliant compressed natural gas powered buses. MSRTC buses provide intercity transport and connect Mumbai with other major cities of Maharashtra and India. The Mumbai Darshan is a tourist bus service which explores numerous tourist attractions in Mumbai. Separate BRTS lanes have been planned throughout Mumbai and construction is to begin from January 2009.

Black and yellow-metered, taxis traverse most of the metropolis. Auto rickshaws operate in the suburban areas of Mumbai. Rickshaws, which run on Compressed Natural Gas, are the main form of hired transport. These three-wheeled vehicles are a quick way to get around. They are the cheapest form of hired transport and can accommodate up to three passengers.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the main aviation hub in the city and the busiest airport in South Asia. The Juhu aerodrome was India's first airport, and now hosts a flying club and a heliport. The proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport which is to be built in the Kopra-Panvel area, has been sanctioned by the Government and would help relieve the increasing traffic burden on the existing airport. Mumbai handles about 25% of the domestic and 38% of the international air passenger traffic in the country.

With its unique topography, Mumbai has one of the best natural harbours in the world, handling 50% of the country's passenger traffic, and much of India's cargo. It is also an important base for the Indian Navy, being the headquarters of the Western Naval Command. Ferries from Ferry Wharf allow cheap access to islands and beaches in the area.

The BMC supplies potable water to the city, most of which comes from the Tulsi and Vihar lakes, as well as a few lakes further north. The water is filtered at Bhandup, which is Asia's largest water filtration plant. Even India's first underground water tunnel will come up in Mumbai. The BMC is also responsible for the road maintenance and garbage collection in the city. Almost all of Mumbai's daily refuse of 7,800 metric tonnes is transported to dumping grounds in Gorai in the northwest, Mulund in the northeast, and Deonar in the east. Sewage treatment is carried out at Worli and Bandra, and disposed off by two independent marine outfalls of 3.4 km (2.1 mi) and 3.7 km (2.3 mi) at Bandra and Worli respectively. A third outfall at Malad is in the planning stages.

Electricity is distributed by BEST in the island city, and by Reliance Energy, Tata Power, and Mahavitaran (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd) in the suburbs. Most of the city's electricity is hydroelectric and nuclear based. Consumption of electricity is growing faster than production capacity. The largest telephone service provider is the state-owned MTNL, which held a monopoly over fixed line and cellular services up until 2000, and provides fixed line as well as mobile WLL services. Cell phone coverage is extensive, and the main service providers are Vodafone Essar, Airtel, MTNL, BPL group, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular and Tata Indicom. Both GSM and CDMA services are available in the city. Broadband internet penetration is increasing in the city, with MTNL and Tata being the leading service providers.

According to the 2001 census, the population of Mumbai was 11,914,398, According to extrapolations carried out by the World Gazetteer in 2008, Mumbai has a population of 13,662,885 and the Mumbai Metropolitan Area has a population of 20,870,764. The population density is estimated to be about 22,000 persons per square kilometre. The overall literacy rate of the city is above 86%, higher than the national average. There are 875 females to every 1,000 males, lower than the national average.

The religions represented in Mumbai include Hindus (67.39%), Muslims (18.56%), Buddhists (5.22%), Jains (3.99%) and Christians (3.72%), with Sikhs and Parsis making up the rest of the population. The linguistic/ethnic demographics are: Maharashtrians (53%), Gujaratis (22%), North Indians (17%), Tamils (3%), Sindhis (3%), Tuluvas/Kannadigas (2%) and others. This unique mix of cultures is a result of the settlement of people of various communities from India. The city also attracts foreign nationals because of the business opportunities available in the city.

Mumbai has a large polyglot population like any other metropolitan city of India. Marathi, the official language of Maharashtra state, is widely spoken. Other languages spoken are Hindi, Gujarati, and English. A colloquial form of Hindi, known as Mumbaiya – a blend of Marathi, Hindi, Indian English and some invented words – is spoken on the streets. English is extensively spoken and is the principal language of the city's white collar workforce.

Mumbai suffers from the same major urbanisation problems seen in many fast growing cities in developing countries: widespread poverty and unemployment, poor public health and poor civic and educational standards for a large section of the population. With available space at a premium, Mumbai residents often reside in cramped, relatively expensive housing, usually far from workplaces, and therefore requiring long commutes on crowded mass transit, or clogged roadways. According to the 2001 census, 54.1% of Mumbai's population lives in slums. Dharavi, Asia's second largest slum is located in central Mumbai and houses 800,000 people. The number of migrants to Mumbai from outside Maharashtra during the 1991-2001 decade was 1.12 million, which amounted to 54.8% of the net addition to the population of Mumbai. Mumbai recorded 27,577 incidents of crime in 2004, which is down 11% from 30,991 in 2001. The city's main jail is the Arthur Road Jail.

Residents of Mumbai call themselves Mumbaikar, Mumbaiite. Many residents live close to major railway stations for easy access to their workplaces, as a significant amount of time is spent on daily commuting. Mumbai's appetizing foods and cuisines have been influenced by the rich but not too spicy styles of cooking from all over the country. Some of the unique and famous palatable specialties include Dhan Sak, Khicheri, Bombli Batata Bhaji, Kamag Kakri, Solachi Kadhi, Min Vela Curry and Curried Bombay Duck. Local roadside fast food includes vada pav, panipuri, paav bhaji, and bhelpuri. The city is dotted with several small restaurants that serve South Indian or Punjabi dishes.

Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema – Dadasaheb Phalke laid the foundations with silent movies followed by Marathi talkies – and the oldest film broadcast here in the early 20th century. Mumbai also boasts of large number of cinemas, including the world's largest IMAX dome theatre, which feature mainstream Bollywood, Marathi and Hollywood movies. Many film festivals are avidly attended throughout the year. Besides catering to cinephiles, the city has a thriving theatrical tradition in Marathi, Hindi, English and other regional languages.

Contemporary art is well-represented in both government funded art spaces and private commercial galleries. The government-funded art galleries include The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art. Built in 1833, the Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly The Prince of Wales Museum) is a renowned museum in the heart of South Mumbai near the Gateway of India which houses rare and ancient exhibits of Indian history. Mumbai has a very popular zoo named Jijamata Udyaan which also harbours a garden within its boundaries. The city of Mumbai is home to many well known Indian poets.

Mumbai has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Elephanta Caves. The Western Railways is also planning to make a proposal to the UNESCO to include the Churchgate building in the list of World Heritage Sites. Popular places in the city are Nariman Point, Girgaum Chowpatti, Juhu Beach, and Marine Drive. Essel World is an international-style theme park and amusement centre situated close to Gorai Beach. Asia's largest theme water park, Water Kingdom, is also located in Mumbai.

Mumbai residents celebrate Western and Indian festivals with great fanfare. Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, Navratri, Good Friday, Dussera, Moharram, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Maha Shivratri are some of the popular festivals in the city. The Kala Ghoda Festival is an exhibition of a world of arts that encapsulates works of artistes in the fields of music, dance, theater, and films. A week long fair known as Bandra Fair is celebrated by people of all faiths. The Banganga Festival is a two-day music festival, held annually in the month of January, which is organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) at the historic Banganga Tank in Mumbai. The Elephanta Festival which is celebrated every February on the Elephanta Islands, is dedicated to the classical Indian Dance and Music with artists from across the country arriving on the island.

Mumbai has numerous newspaper publications and television and radio stations. Popular English language newspapers published and sold in Mumbai include the Times of India, Mid-day, Hindustan Times, DNA, and Indian Express. Marathi newspapers include Loksatta, Lokmat and Maharashtra Times. Newspapers are also printed in other Indian languages. Mumbai is home to Asia's oldest newspaper, Bombay Samachar, which has been published in Gujarati since 1822. Bombay Durpan - the first Marathi newspaper — was started by Balshastri Jambhekar in Mumbai in 1832. Popular magazines are Saaptahik Sakaal, Lokprabha in Marathi and India Today, Outlook in English.

Numerous Indian and foreign channels can be watched in Mumbai. Mumbai households receive over a hundred television channels via cable, and a majority of them are produced to cater to the city's polyglot populace. The metropolis is also the hub of many international media corporations, with many news channels and print publications having a major presence. The national television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides two free terrestrial channels, while three main cable networks serve most households. ESPN,Star Sports,Zee Marathi, ETV Marathi, DD Sahyadri, Mee Marathi, Zee Talkies, Zee TV, STAR Plus and news channels like Star Majha are popular. Popular news channels entirely dedicated to Mumbai and Maharashtra include Marathi news channels Star Majha, ], and Sahara Samay Mumbai. Satellite television (DTH) has yet to gain mass acceptance, due to high installation costs. Popular DTH entertainment services in Mumbai include Dish TV and Tata Sky. There are twelve radio stations in Mumbai, with nine broadcasting on the FM band, and three All India Radio stations broadcasting on the AM band. Mumbai also has access to popular Commercial radio providers like WorldSpace, Sirius and XM. The Conditional Access System (CAS) started by the ] in 2006 has met a very poor response in Mumbai due to the arduous competition from its sister technology Direct-to-Home (DTH) transmission service.

Schools in Mumbai are either "municipal schools" (run by the BMC) or private schools (run by trusts or individuals), which in some cases receive financial aid from the government. The schools are affiliated either with the Maharashtra State Board (MSBSHSE), the all-India Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) boards. Marathi or English is the usual language of instruction. The government run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only option for poorer residents who cannot afford the more expensive private schools. A majority of residents prefer private schools because of better infrastructure.

Under the 10+2+3/4 plan, students complete ten years of schooling, and then enroll for two years in Junior College, where they select one of three streams: arts, commerce, or science. This is followed by either a general degree course in a chosen field of study, or a professional degree course, such as law, engineering, medicine etc. Most colleges in the city are affiliated with the University of Mumbai, one of the largest universities in the world in terms of the number of graduates. The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute and University Institute of Chemical Technology which are India's premier engineering and technology schools, and SNDT Women's University are the other universities in Mumbai. Mumbai is also home to Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) and several other management schools. The oldest law school in India, Government Law College and the first commerce college in Asia, Sydenham College are also in Mumbai. The Sir J. J. School of Art, is affiliated with the University of Mumbai, and offers degrees in fine art and sculpture.

Mumbai is home to two of India's important research institutions – The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The BARC operates CIRUS, a 40 MW nuclear research reactor at their facility in Trombay.

Cricket is the most popular sport in the city (and the country). Due to the short supply of cricket grounds relative to the number of cricket playing people, modified versions of cricket (generally referred to as a whole as galli cricket) with varying rules are played everywhere: parking lots, gardens and streets. Mumbai is home to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). International cricket is widely watched, and the city comes to a virtual standstill on days when the Indian cricket team plays important matches. The Mumbai cricket team represents Mumbai city in the Ranji Trophy, India's domestic cricketing circuit, and is one of the most successful teams. The city is also represented by the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, and by the Mumbai Champs in the Indian Cricket League. The city has two international cricket stadiums, the Wankhede Stadium and the Brabourne Stadium. The Wankhede stadium is set to host the final of 2011 Cricket World Cup and is currently undergoing expansion and renovation and preparation for the aforementioned event. Eminent cricketers from Mumbai include Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Hazare.

Football is the second most popular sport with the city. The FIFA World Cup is one of the most widely watched television events in Mumbai. India's national sport, field hockey, has gone into decline, losing out in terms of popularity to cricket. Mumbai is home to the Maratha Warriors, one of the few teams competing for the Premier Hockey League (PHL) from Maharashtra. Chess is also a very popular indoor sport played in Mumbai. Other fairly common sports played in Mumbai are tennis, squash, billiards, badminton, table tennis and golf. Mumbai also plays Rugby union, one of the few Indian cities to do so. Every February, Mumbai holds the Derby races in the Mahalaxmi Racecourse. In recent times Formula 1 racing has also become popular and the Force India F1 team unveiled its 2008 car in Mumbai. In March 2004, the Mumbai Grand Prix was held as part of the F1 powerboat world championship. Sports like volleyball and basketball are popular in schools and colleges.

In 2004, the Mumbai Marathon, an annual marathon event, was established in a bid to bring the sport to the Indian public. Since 2006, Mumbai has also played host to the Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open, an International Series tournament of the ATP Tour. Mcdowell's Derby is held in February at the Turf club in Mumbai.

1 1975 is the date of East Timor's Declaration of Independence and subsequent invasion by Indonesia. In 2002, the independence of East Timor was recognized by Portugal and the rest of the world.

To the top

Mumbai Harbour

The harbour east of the city

Mumbai Harbour (aka Front Bay) is the southern portion of the Ulhas River estuary, the northern (and narrower) part of which is called Thane Creek. The historical island of Elephanta is one of the six islands that lie in the harbour. Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Navi Mumbai (New Bombay) lie to the east on the mainland, and the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) lies to the west on Salsette Island. The harbour opens to the Arabian Sea to the south. The Gateway of India with its jetty for Elephanta is the most important tourist destination, followed by the INS Vikrant maritime Museum. Mangrove swamps line much of the northwestern and eastern shores of the harbour, and provide a rich habitat for wildlife, including thousands of migrating birds such as flamingoes.

It has been the gateway since the days the British established their factory in Mumbai. Over the years it is one of the important reasons for the development of trade and commerce in Mumbai. In 1736, Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia began the Wadia shipbuilding dynasty when he obtained a contract from the British East India Company for building docks and ships in Bombay (present-day Mumbai). The first dry dock in Asia was built by the Wadias at Mumbai in 1750. By the 1840s the Wadia family had built over a hundred warships for the British and had trading networks around the world.

Crude and petroleum products are handled from four jetties at Jawahar Dweep, an island in the Mumbai harbour, and chemicals are handled from Pirpau. It can be noted that the port has existed for over 130 years.

The Mumbai Port is managed by the Bombay Port Trust, now known as Mumbai Port Trust, which was founded by the great ship builder Jamshedji Wadia in 1872.

To the top

Mumbai Suburban Railway

Mumbai suburban rail map.svg

The Mumbai Suburban Railway (Marathi: मुंबई उपनगरीय रेल्) system, part of the public transportation system of Mumbai, is provided for by the state-run Indian Railways' two zonal Western Railways and Central Railways. The system carries more than 6.6 million commuters on a daily basis and constitutes more than half of the total daily passenger capacity of the Indian Railways itself. It has one of the highest passenger densities of any urban railway system in the world. The trains plying on its routes are commonly referred to as local trains or simply as locals by the general populace.

The Mumbai Suburban Railway, as well as Indian Railways, are an offshoot of the first railway to be built by the British in India in April 1853. This was also the oldest railway system in Asia. The first train ran between Mumbai and Thane, a distance of 34 km. The Bombay Railway History Group has been striving to document railway heritage along this line.

Given the geographical spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network is the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai.

Spread over 464 route kilometres, The Suburban Railway system operates on 1500 V DC / 25000 kV AC (Virar-Borivali & Kasara - Titwala) power supply from overhead catenary lines. The suburban services are run by electric multiple units (EMUs). 171 rakes (train sets) of 9-car & 12-car composition are utilised to run 2342 train services, carrying 6.94 million passengers per day.

Two zonal Railways, the Western Railway (WR) and the Central Railway (CR), operate the Mumbai Suburban Railway system. At present, the fast corridors on Central Railway as well as Western Railway are shared for long distance (main line) and freight trains.

The Central Line in Mumbai consists of 3 Major corridors, which bifurcate as they run into Suburban satellite towns. Two corridors (one local and other through) on Central Railway run from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Kalyan (54 km), from where it bifurcates into Kalyan–Kasara (67 km) in the north-east and Kalyan–Karjat–Khopoli (61 km) in south-east. These two corridors constitute the 'Main' Line. They consist of a fleet of DC as well as AC/DC powered EMUs. The major car sheds on this line are at Kurla and Kalwa. There are fast and slow locals here for suburban service. Slow locals halt at every station, while fast locals halts vary between Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Dombivali and Kalyan. All services plying beyond Kalyan run slow and thus halt at all stations. Central Railway also operates diesel multiple units (DMUs) on the routes connecting Diva Junction on Central Railway and Vasai Road on Western Railway and Diva Junction to Roha via Panvel.

The Harbour line is part of the Central Railway, and runs a train corridor from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Andheri, Thane and Panvel. All harbour line services operate as slow services. The line operates from two separate platforms at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), and the tracks cross over the main line at Sandhurst Road, to head towards stations along Mumbai's eastern dock area. A branch line from Wadala Road joins the Western Railway Line at Mahim Junction and continues towards Andheri. The harbour line shares a common station at Kurla with the main line, where it turns east towards Navi Mumbai. The Harbour line further bifurcates at Vashi/Nerul,Navi Mumbai and follows to Thane and Panvel. A large section of the harbour line (Sandhurst Road to Reay Road, Reay Road to Sewri, Wadala Road to Mahim Junction) is elevated. There are 29 services in each direction every day.

The Western Railway line between Churchgate terminus and Dahanu Road carries about 2.6 million passengers per day, almost 43 percent of the total Mumbai suburban rail traffic. The annual passenger traffic density for the Western Line exceeds 145 million passenger-km per km of route per year. In other words, more than 145 million passengers travel, on average, over each km of line per year. The busiest segment, 60 km between Churchgate terminus and Virar, carries almost 900 million passengers per year. The annual traffic density, about 255 million passenger-km per km of route, is believed to be the world record for passenger rail transport.

Due to its extensive reach across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and its intensive use by the local urban population, overcrowding has grown to be a compelling problem (5,000 + passengers are packed into a 9-car rake during peak hours, as against the rated carrying capacity of 1,700). This has resulted in what is known as Super-Dense Crush Load of 14 to 16 standing passengers per square meter of floor space. Trains on the suburban line are on average more than 4 minutes apart, contributing to the problem of overcrowding. The impending introduction of new higher speed rakes may help address the issue.

It has been advised for safety concerns for tourists to avoid the trains during weekdays, or at least during the morning and afternoon peak hours. The best way to enjoy the trains is on Sundays when they are relatively empty. During the work day, beware of getting on the express trains or 'fast trains' as they are called denoted on stations by 'F'), specially the ones to Virar. The regulars want tourists to take the locals for the short commute and allow them some measure of comfort for their long commute; under some conditions, they will prevent the tourists from getting off the train by force. As a result, the tourists may have to join them all the way to Virar.

Yearly more than 3,500 people die on the Mumbai suburban railway track due to unsafe riding on trains or trespassing on railway tracks. This is believed to be the highest number of fatalities per year on any urban or suburban railway system. Most of the deaths are of passengers crossing the tracks on foot, instead of using the footbridges provided for going from one platform to another, and are hit by passing trains. Some passengers die when they sit on train roofs to avoid the crowds and are electrocuted by the overhead electric wires, or hang from doors and window bars.

Central and Western Railway was forced to release under the Right to Information Act that at least 20,706 people have died in the last five years; an average of 10 each day. The request was filed by Mumbai activist Chetan Kothari .

The Mumbai Suburban Railway has suffered 8 blasts including a series of blasts. Around 318 people are believed to have died as a result.

Names in bold indicate that the station is a fast train stop.

A new station between Goregaon and Jogeshwari, namely Oshiwara, will be functional soon.

Kalyan, Thane, Dadar are important stops for outstation trains.

At Kalyan, the route splits up into two sections.

A bulk of the current fleet of both the Western and Central railways features old rakes which are capable of a maximum speed of 85 km/h in regular service. Mostl of these rakes are built by Jessop (Kolkata) and ICF (Perambur). The recently introduced AC/DC rakes (more modern motors in the existing carriage designs) are capable of 100 km/h under low traffic conditions. The actual average speed of the rakes on the slow lines is about 35 km/h, while rakes on fast lines average about 45-50 km/h on a typical run.

On November 12, 2007, 1st new technology rake of 174 new technology rakes with upgraded facilities was inducted into the fleet of the Western Railways under the MUTP project. The coaches are built of stainless steel, and have cushioned seats, emergency fluorescent lights, bigger windows with polycarbonate lookout glass, better suspension systems and a novel roof mounted forced ventilation system, station indicators in all coache, GPS based Public information system in all coaches. These rakes have been procured under the project at a total cost of Rs 1,900 crore (Rs 19 billion) (USD 431.0 million).

To enable the Mumbai Suburban Railway to meet the demands of the ever-growing passenger traffic, the federal Government of India's Ministry of Railways and the state Government of Maharashtra have jointly envisioned the constitution of a separate corporate entity to operate the system.

The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC Ltd), a public sector unit of the Government of India under the Ministry of Railways, was incorporated under the (Indian) Companies Act, 1956 on July 12, 1999, with an equity capital of Rs 25 crores to implement the rail component of an integrated rail-cum-road urban transport project, called Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). The cost of the rail component of the project is to be shared equally by Ministry of Railways and Government of Maharashtra.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia