Mumbai (/mʊmˈb/; also known as Bombaythe official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million as of 2011. Along with the neighbouring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016.[13][14][15] Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour.

In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India.

The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies of the Koli peopleFor centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay.[22] During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project,[23] which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea.[24] Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India’s independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital.[25]

Mumbai is the financial, commercial[26] and entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world’s top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow,[27] generating 6.16% of India’s GDP[28] and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India (Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT),[29] and 70% of capital transactions to India’s economy.[30][31] The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India’s premier scientific and nuclear institutes like Bhabha Atomic Research CentreNuclear Power Corporation of IndiaIndian Rare EarthsTata Institute of Fundamental ResearchAtomic Energy Regulatory BoardAtomic Energy Commission of India, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India’s Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi cinema industries. Mumbai’s business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living,[32] attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting  of many communities and cultures.

Kanheri Caves served as a centre of Buddhism in Western India during ancient times

Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islandsIsle of BombayParelMazagaonMahimColabaWorli, and Old Woman’s Island (also known as Little Colaba).[57] It is not exactly known when these islands were first inhabited. Pleistocene sediments found along the coastal areas around Kandivali in northern Mumbai suggest that the islands were inhabited since the South Asian Stone Age.[58] Perhaps at the beginning of the Common Era, or possibly earlier, they came to be occupied by the Koli fishing community.

In the third century BCE, the islands formed part of the Maurya Empire, during its expansion in the south, ruled by the Buddhist emperor Ashoka of Magadha.[61] The Kanheri Caves in Borivali were excavated in the mid-third century BCE,[62] and served as an important centre of Buddhism in Western India during ancient Times.[63] The city then was known as Heptanesia (Ancient Greek: A Cluster of Seven Islands) to the Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150 CE.[64] The Mahakali Caves in Andheri were built between the 1st century BCE and the 6th century .[65][66]

Between the second century BCE and ninth century CE, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous dynastiesSatavahanasWestern SatrapsAbhiraVakatakaKalachuris, Konkan Mauryas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas,[67] before being ruled by the Shilaharas from 810 to 1260.[68] Some of the oldest edifices in the city built during this period are the Jogeshwari Caves (between 520 and 525),[69] Elephanta Caves (between the sixth to seventh century),[70] Walkeshwar Temple (10th century),[71][72] and Banganga Tank (12th century).[73][74]

The Haji Ali Dargah was built in 1431, when Mumbai was under the rule of the Gujarat Sultanate

King Bhimdev founded his kingdom in the region in the late 13th century and established his capital in Mahikawati (present day Mahim).[75] The Pathare Prabhus, among the earliest known settlers of the city, were brought to Mahikawati from Saurashtra in Gujarat around 1298 by Bhimdev.[76] The Delhi Sultanateannexed the islands in 1347–48 and controlled it until 1407. During this time, the islands were administered by the Muslim Governors of Gujarat, who were appointed by the Delhi Sultanate.[77][78]

The islands were later governed by the independent Gujarat Sultanate, which was established in 1407. The Sultanate’s patronage led to the construction of many mosques, prominent being the Haji Ali Dargah in Worli, built in honour of the Muslim saint Haji Ali in 1431.[79] From 1429 to 1431, the islands were a source of contention between the Gujarat Sultanate and the Bahmani Sultanate of Deccan.[80][81] In 1493, Bahadur Khan Gilani of the Bahmani Sultanate attempted to conquer the islands but was defeated.[82]

Portuguese and British rule

The Madh Fort built by the Portuguese, was one of the most important forts in Salsette.

The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent during the mid-16th century.[83]Growing apprehensive of the power of the Mughal emperor Humayun, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese Empire on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the Seven Islands of Bombay, the nearby strategic town of Bassein and its dependencies were offered to the Portuguese. The territories were later surrendered on 25 October 1535.[84]

The Portuguese were actively involved in the foundation and growth of their Roman Catholic religious orders in Bombay.[85]They called the islands by various names, which finally took the written form Bombaim. The islands were leased to several Portuguese officers during their regime. The Portuguese Franciscans and Jesuits built several churches in the city, prominent being the St. Michael’s Church at Mahim (1534),[86] St. John the Baptist Church at Andheri (1579),[87] St. Andrew’s Church at Bandra (1580),[88] and Gloria Church at Byculla (1632).[89] The Portuguese also built several fortifications around the city like the Bombay CastleCastella de Aguada (Castelo da Aguada or Bandra Fort), and Madh Fort. The English were in constant struggle with the Portuguese vying for hegemony over Bombay, as they recognised its strategic natural harbour and its natural isolation from land-attacks. By the middle of the 17th century the growing power of the Dutch Empire forced the English to acquire a station in western India. On 11 May 1661, the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal, placed the islands in possession of the English Empire, as part of Catherine’s dowry to Charles.[90] However, SalsetteBasseinMazagaonParelWorliSionDharavi, and Wadala still remained under Portuguese possession. From 1665 to 1666, the English managed to acquire Mahim, Sion, Dharavi, and Wadala.[91]

Two views of the English fort in Bombay, c. 1665

In accordance with the Royal Charter of 27 March 1668, England leased these islands to the English East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum.[92] The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675.[93] The islands were subsequently attacked by Yakut Khan, the Siddi admiral of the Mughal Empire, in October 1672,[94] Rickloffe van Goen, the Governor-General of Dutch India on 20 February 1673,[95] and Siddi admiral Sambal on 10 October 1673.[94]

In 1687, the English East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency.[96] Following the transfer, Bombay was placed at the head of all the company’s establishments in India.[97] Towards the end of the 17th century, the islands again suffered incursions from Yakut Khan in 1689–90.[98] The Portuguese presence ended in Bombay when the Marathas under Peshwa Baji Rao I captured Salsette in 1737, and Bassein in 1739.[99] By the middle of the 18th century, Bombay began to grow into a major trading town, and received a huge influx of migrants from across India.[100] Later, the British occupied Salsette on 28 December 1774. With the Treaty of Surat (1775), the British formally gained control of Salsette and Bassein, resulting in the First Anglo-Maratha War.[101]The British were able to secure Salsette from the Marathas without violence through the Treaty of Purandar (1776),[102] and later through the Treaty of Salbai (1782), signed to settle the outcome of the First Anglo-Maratha War.[103]

Ships in Bombay Harbour (c. 1731). Bombay emerged as a significant trading town during the mid-18th century.

From 1782 onwards, the city was reshaped with large-scale civil engineering projects aimed at merging all the seven islands of Bombay into a single amalgamated mass by way of a causeway called the Hornby Vellard, which was completed by 1784.[23]In 1817, the British East India Company under Mountstuart Elphinstone defeated Baji Rao II, the last of the Maratha Peshwa in the Battle of Khadki.[104] Following his defeat, almost the whole of the Deccan came under British suzerainty, and was incorporated into the Bombay Presidency. The success of the British campaign in the Deccan marked the end of all attacks by native powers.[105]

By 1845, the seven islands coalesced into a single landmass by the Hornby Vellard project via large scale land reclamation.[24][106] On 16 April 1853, India’s first passenger railway line was established, connecting Bombay to the neighbouring town of Thana (now Thane).[107] During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the city became the world’s chief cotton-trading market, resulting in a boom in the economy that subsequently enhanced the city’s stature.[108]

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 transformed Bombay into one of the largest seaports on the Arabian Sea.[109] In September 1896, Bombay was hit by a bubonic plague epidemic where the death toll was estimated at 1,900 people per week.[110] About 850,000 people fled Bombay and the textile industry was adversely affected.[111] As the capital of the Bombay Presidency, the city witnessed the Indian independence movement, with the Quit India Movement in 1942 and The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in 1946 being its most notable events.[112][113]

Independent India

Municipal Corporation Building, Bombay in 1950 – Victoria Terminus partly visible on far right.

After India’s independence in 1947, the territory of the Bombay Presidency retained by India was restructured into Bombay State. The area of Bombay State increased, after several erstwhile princely states that joined the Indian union were integrated into the state. Subsequently, the city became the capital of Bombay State.[114] In April 1950, Municipal limits of Bombay were expanded by merging the Bombay Suburban District and Bombay City to form the Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation.[115]

The Samyukta Maharashtra movement to create a separate Maharashtra state including Bombay was at its height in the 1950s. In the Lok Sabha discussions in 1955, the Congress party demanded that the city be constituted as an autonomous city-state.[116] The States Reorganisation Committee recommended a bilingual state for Maharashtra–Gujarat with Bombay as its capital in its 1955 report. Bombay Citizens’ Committee, an advocacy group of leading Gujarati industrialists lobbied for Bombay’s independent status.[117]

Following protests during the movement in which 105 people lost their lives in clashes with the police, Bombay State was reorganised on linguistic lines on 1 May 1960.[118] Gujarati-speaking areas of Bombay State were partitioned into the state of Gujarat.[119] Maharashtra State with Bombay as its capital was formed with the merger of Marathi-speaking areas of Bombay State, eight districts from Central Provinces and Berar, five districts from Hyderabad State, and numerous princely states enclosed between them.[120] As a memorial to the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, Flora Fountain was renamed as Hutatma Chowk (Martyr’s Square), and a memorial was erected.[121]

A stone statue of torch-bearers as seen at night. A fountain with a white base is in the background

The Hutatma Chowkmemorial, built to honour the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement(Flora Fountain is on its left in the background.)

The following decades saw massive expansion of the city and its suburbs. In the late 1960s, Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade were reclaimed and developed.[122] The Bombay Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) was established on 26 January 1975 by the Government of Maharashtra as an apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in the Bombay metropolitan region.[123] In August 1979, a sister township of New Bombay was founded by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) across the Thane and Raigad districts to help the dispersal and control of Bombay’s population. The textile industry in Bombay largely disappeared after the widespread 1982 Great Bombay Textile Strike, in which nearly 250,000 workers in more than 50 textile mills went on strike.[124] Mumbai’s defunct cotton mills have since become the focus of intense redevelopment.[125][126]

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port, which currently handles 55–60% of India’s containerised cargo, was commissioned on 26 May 1989 across the creek at Nhava Sheva with a view to de-congest Bombay Harbour and to serve as a hub port for the city.[127] The geographical limits of Greater Bombay were coextensive with municipal limits of Greater Bombay. On 1 October 1990, the Greater Bombay district was bifurcated to form two revenue districts namely, Bombay City and Bombay Suburban, though they continued to be administered by same Municipal Administration.[128]

From 1990 to 2010, there has been an increase in violence in the hitherto largely peaceful city. Following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the city was rocked by the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1992–93 in which more than 1,000 people were killed. On 12 March 1993, a series of 13 co-ordinated bombings at several city landmarks by Islamic extremists and the Bombay underworld resulted in 257 deaths and over 700 injuries.[129] In 2006, 209 people were killed and over 700 injured when seven bombs exploded on the city’s commuter trains.[130] In 2008, a series of ten coordinated attacks by armed terrorists for three days resulted in 173 deaths, 308 injuries, and severe damage to several heritage landmarks and prestigious hotels.[131] The blasts that occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar on 13 July 2011 were the latest in the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.[132]

Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and has evolved into a global financial hub.[133] For several decades it has been the home of India’s main financial services, and a focus for both infrastructure development and private investment.[134] From being an ancient fishing community and a colonial centre of trade, Mumbai has become South Asia’s largest city and home of the world’s most prolific film industry.[135]


Mumbai is on a narrow peninsula on the southwest of Salsette Island, which lies between the Arabian Sea to the west, Thane Creek to the east, and Vasai Creek to the north. Mumbai's suburban district occupies most of the island. Navi Mumbai is east of Thane Creek, and the Thane District is north of Vasai Creek.

Mumbai consists of two revenue districts

Mumbai consists of two distinct regions: Mumbai City district and Mumbai Suburban district, which form two separate revenue districts of Maharashtra.[136] The city district region is also commonly referred to as the Island City or South Mumbai.[28] The total area of Mumbai is 603.4 km2 (233 sq mi).[137] Of this, the island city spans 67.79 km2 (26 sq mi), while the suburban district spans 370 km2(143 sq mi), together accounting for 437.71 km2 (169 sq mi) under the administration of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai(MCGM). The remaining areas belong to various Defence establishments, the Mumbai Port Trust, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Borivali National Park, which are out of the jurisdiction of the MCGM.[138] The Mumbai Metropolitan Region which includes portions of ThanePalghar and Raigad districts in addition to Greater Mumbai, covers an area of 4,355 km2 (1681.5 sq mi).[7]

Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the western coast of India, in the coastal region known as the Konkan. It sits on Salsette Island (Sashti Island), which it partially shares with the Thane district.[139] Mumbai is bounded by the Arabian Sea to the west.[140] Many parts of the city lie just above sea level, with elevations ranging from 10 m (33 ft) to 15 m (49 ft);[141] the city has an average elevation of 14 m (46 ft).[142] Northern Mumbai (Salsette) is hilly,[143] and the highest point in the city is 450 m (1,476 ft) at Salsette in the PowaiKanheri ranges.[144] The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivali National Park) is located partly in the Mumbai suburban district, and partly in the Thane district, and it extends over an area of 103.09 km2 (39.80 sq mi).[145]

Apart from the Bhatsa Dam, there are six major lakes that supply water to the city: ViharLower VaitarnaUpper VaitarnaTulsiTansaand Powai. Tulsi Lake and Vihar Lake are located in Borivili National Park, within the city’s limits. The supply from Powai lake, also within the city limits, is used only for agricultural and industrial purposes.[146] Three small rivers, the Dahisar RiverPoinsar (or Poisar)and Ohiwara (or Oshiwara) originate within the park, while the polluted Mithi River originates from Tulsi Lake and gathers water overflowing from Vihar and Powai Lakes.[147] The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays, stretching from the Thane creek on the eastern to Madh Marve on the western front.[148] The eastern coast of Salsette Island is covered with large mangrove swamps, rich in biodiversity, while the western coast is mostly sandy and rocky.[149]

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.[150] The underlying rock of the region is composed of black Deccan basalt flows, and their acidic and basic variants dating back to the late Cretaceous and early Eocene eras.[151] Mumbai sits on a seismically active zone owing to the presence of 23 fault lines in the vicinity.[152] The area is classified as a Seismic Zone III region,[153] which means an earthquake of up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter magnitude scale may be expected.[154]


The average temperature ranges between 23 °C (73 °F) in January to 30 °C (86 °F) in May. Rainfall is at or near zero from November through May, then quickly rises to a peak of about 600 mm (23.62 in) in July, falling back more gradually.

Average temperature and precipitation in Mumbai

Mumbai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) under the Köppen climate classification, with seven months of dryness and peak of rains in July.[155] The cooler season from December to February is followed by the summer season from March to June. The period from June to about the end of September constitutes the south-west monsoon season, and October and November form the post-monsoon season.[156]

Between June and September, the south west monsoon rains lash the city. Pre-monsoon showers are received in May. Occasionally, north-east monsoon showers occur in October and November. The maximum annual rainfall ever recorded was 3,452 mm (136 in) for 1954.[157] The highest rainfall recorded in a single day was 944 mm (37 in) on 26 July 2005.[158] The average total annual rainfall is 2,146.6 mm (85 in) for the Island City, and 2,457 mm (97 in) for the suburbs.[157]

The average annual temperature is 27.2 °C (81 °F), and the average annual precipitation is 2,167 mm (85 in).[159] In the Island City, the average maximum temperature is 31.2 °C (88 °F), while the average minimum temperature is 23.7 °C (75 °F). In the suburbs, the daily mean maximum temperature range from 29.1 °C (84 °F) to 33.3 °C (92 °F), while the daily mean minimum temperature ranges from 16.3 °C (61 °F) to 26.2 °C (79 °F).[157] The record high is 42.2 °C (108 °F) set on 14 April 1952,[160] and the record low is 7.4 °C (45 °F) set on 27 January 1962.[160][161]

[hide]Climate data for Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.1
Average high °C (°F) 30.7
Average low °C (°F) 16.8
Record low °C (°F) 7.4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.6
Average rainy days 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.7 14.5 23.2 21.4 14.4 3.0 1.0 0.4 78.9
Average relative humidity (%) 69 67 69 71 70 80 86 86 83 78 71 69 75
Mean monthly sunshine hours 269.5 257.6 274.3 283.7 296.2 148.6 73.4 75.9 165.1 240.2 245.8 253.2 2,583.5
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (Period 1961–1990, record high and low up to 2010)[162][160]
Source #2: NOAA (humidity, sun 1971–1990) [163]

Air pollution is a major issue in Mumbai.[164][165][166] According to the 2016 World Health Organization Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database,[167] the annual average PM2.5 concentration in 2013 was 63 μg/m3, which is 6.3 times higher than that recommended by the WHO Air Quality Guidelines[168] for the annual mean PM2.5. The Central Pollution Control Board for the Government of India and the Consulate General of the United States, Mumbai monitor and publicly share real-time air quality data.[169][170]


The Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in Asia.

Mumbai is India’s largest city (by population) and is the financial and commercial capital of the country as it generates 6.16% of the total GDP.[28][133][171] It serves as an economic hub of India, contributing 10% of factory employment, 25% of industrial output, 33% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of India’s foreign trade and ₹4,000 crore (US$610 million) in corporate taxes.[172] Along with the rest of India, Mumbai has witnessed an economic boom since the liberalisation of 1991, the finance boom in the mid-nineties and the IT, export, services and outsourcing boom in the 2000s.[173] Although Mumbai had prominently figured as the hub of economic activity of India in the 1990s, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is presently witnessing a reduction in its contribution to India’s GDP.[174]

As of 2015, Mumbai’s metro area GDP (PPP) was estimated at $368 billion.[10] Many of India’s numerous conglomerates (including Larsen & ToubroState Bank of India (SBI), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), Tata GroupGodrej and Reliance),[133] and five of the Fortune Global 500 companies are based in Mumbai.[175] This is facilitated by the presence of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), and financial sector regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).[174]

Until the 1970s, Mumbai owed its prosperity largely to textile mills and the seaport, but the local economy has since then diversified to include financeengineering, diamond-polishing, healthcare and information technology.[176] The key sectors contributing to the city’s economy are: finance, gems & jewellery, leather processing, IT and ITES, textiles, and entertainment. Nariman Point and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) are Mumbai’s major financial centres.[174] Despite competition from BangaloreHyderabad and Pune, Mumbai has carved a niche for itself in the information technology industry. The Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) and the International Infotech Park (Navi Mumbai) offer excellent facilities to IT companies.[177]

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 is well established, with Mumbai Port being one of the oldest and most significant ports in India.[178] Dharavi, in central Mumbai, has an increasingly large recycling industry, processing recyclable waste from other parts of the city; the district has an estimated 15,000 single-room factories.[179]

Mumbai has been ranked sixth among top ten global cities on the billionaire count with 28[180] and 46000 millionaires, with total wealth around $820 billion[181] 48th on the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index 2008,[182] seventh in the list of “Top Ten Cities for Billionaires” by Forbes magazine (April 2008),[183] and first in terms of those billionaires’ average wealth.[184] As of 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group (GaWC) has ranked Mumbai as an “Alpha world city”, third in its categories of Global cities.[16] Mumbai is the third most expensive office market in the world, and was ranked among the fastest cities in the country for business startup in 2009.[185]

Civic administration

Headquarters of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). The MCGM is the largest civic organisation in the country.

Greater Mumbai, an area of 603 square kilometres (233 sq mi),[186] consisting of the Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban districts, extends from Colaba in the south, to Mulund and Dahisar in the north, and Mankhurd in the east. Its population as per the 2011 census was 12,442,373.[187]

It is administered by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) (sometimes referred to as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), formerly known as the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC).[140] The MCGM is in charge of the civic and infrastructure needs of the metropolis.[188] The Mayor is chosen through indirect election by the councillors from among themselves for a term of two and half years.[189]

The Municipal Commissioner is the chief Executive Officer and head of the executive arm of the Municipal Corporation. All executive powers are vested in the Municipal Commissioner who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer appointed by the state government. Although the Municipal Corporation is the legislative body that lays down policies for the governance of the city, it is the Commissioner who is responsible for the execution of the policies. The Commissioner is appointed for a fixed term as defined by state statute. The powers of the Commissioner are those provided by statute and those delegated by the Corporation or the Standing Committee.[190]

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was ranked 9th out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 3.5 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.[191]

A brown building with a central tower and sloping roofs surrounded by trees. A grassy ground and a coconut tree are in front of it.

The Bombay High Court exercises jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The two revenue districts of Mumbai come 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 Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The Mumbai Police is a division of the Maharashtra Police, under the state Home Ministry.[192] The city is divided into seven police zones and seventeen traffic police zones,[138] each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police.[193] The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Mumbai Police. The Mumbai Fire Brigade, under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation, is headed by the Chief Fire Officer, who is assisted by four Deputy Chief Fire Officers and six Divisional Officers.[138] The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is responsible for infrastructure development and planning of Mumbai Metropolitan Region.[194]

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.[195] 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 Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court for people accused of conspiring and abetting acts of terrorism in the city.[196]


Men in traditional Indian dresses posing for a photograph

First session of the Indian National Congress in Bombay (28–31 December 1885)

Mumbai had been a traditional stronghold and birthplace of the Indian National Congress, also known as the Congress Party.[197] The first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bombay from 28–31 December 1885.[198] The city played host to the Indian National Congress six times during its first 50 years, and became a strong base for the Indian independence movement during the 20th century.[199]

The 1960s saw the rise of regionalist politics in Bombay, with the formation of the Shiv Sena on 19 June 1966, out of a feeling of resentment about the relative marginalisation of the native Marathi people in Bombay.[200] Shiv Sena switched from ‘Marathi Cause’ to larger ‘Hindutva Cause’ in 1985 and joined hands with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in same year.[201] The Congress had dominated the politics of Bombay from independence until the early 1980s, when the Shiv Sena won the 1985 Bombay Municipal Corporation elections.[202]

In 1989, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a major national political party, forged an electoral alliance with the Shiv Sena to dislodge the Congress in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections. In 1999, several members left the Congress to form the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) but later allied with the Congress as part of an alliance known as the Democratic Front.[203] Currently, other parties such as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and several independent candidates also contest elections in the city.[204]

In the Indian national elections held every five years, Mumbai is represented by six parliamentary constituencies: NorthNorth WestNorth EastNorth CentralSouth Central, and South.[205] A Member of parliament (MP) to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, is elected from each of the parliamentary constituencies. In the 2014 national elections, all six parliamentary constituencies were won by the BJP and Shiv Sena in alliance, with both parties winning three seats each.[206]

In the Maharashtra state assembly elections held every five years, Mumbai is represented by 36 assembly constituencies.[207][208] A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) to the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) is elected from each of the assembly constituencies. In the 2014 state assembly elections, out of the 36 assembly constituencies, 15 were won by the BJP, 14 by the Shiv Sena and 5 by the Congress.[209][210]

Elections are also held every five years to elect corporators to power in the MCGM.[211] The Corporation comprises 227 directly elected Councillors representing the 24 municipal wards, five nominated Councillors having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration, and a Mayor whose role is mostly ceremonial.[212][213][214] In the 2012 municipal corporation elections, out of the 227 seats, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance secured 107 seats, holding power with the support of independent candidates in the MCGM, while the Congress-NCP alliance bagged 64 seats.[215] The tenure of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Municipal Commissioner is two and a half years.[216]


The Mumbai Suburban Railwaysystem carries more than 6.99 million commuters on a daily basis. It has the highest passenger density of any urban railway system in the world.
The Mumbai Monorail opened in February 2014.
BEST buses carry a total of 4.5 million passengers daily.
The black and yellow Premier Padmini Taxis are iconic of Mumbai.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is a cable-stayed bridge that connects central Mumbai with its western suburbs
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is the busiest port in India

Public transport

Public transport systems in Mumbai include the Mumbai Suburban RailwayMonorailMetroBrihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses, black-and-yellow meter taxisauto rickshaws and ferries. Suburban railway and BEST bus services together accounted for about 88% of the passenger traffic in 2008.[218] Auto rickshaws are allowed to operate only in the suburban areas of Mumbai, while taxis are allowed to operate throughout Mumbai, but generally operate in South Mumbai.[219] Taxis and rickshaws in Mumbai are required by law to run on compressed natural gas (CNG),[220] and are a convenient, economical, and easily available means of transport.[219]


The Mumbai Suburban Railway, popularly referred to as Locals forms the backbone of the city’s transport system.[221] It is operated by the Central Railway and Western Railway zones of the Indian Railways.[222] Mumbai’s suburban rail systems carried a total of 6.3 million passengers every day in 2007.[223] Trains are overcrowded during peak hours, with nine-car trains of rated capacity 1,700 passengers, actually carrying around 4,500 passengers at peak hours.[224] The Mumbai rail network is spread at an expanse of 319 route kilometres. 191 rakes (train-sets) of 9 car and 12 car composition are utilised to run a total of 2,226 train services in the city.[225]

The Mumbai Monorail and Mumbai Metro have been built and are being extended in phases to relieve overcrowding on the existing network. The Monorail opened in early February 2014.[226] The first line of the Mumbai Metro opened in early June 2014.[227]

Mumbai is the headquarters of two zones of the Indian Railways: the Central Railway (CR) headquartered at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), and the Western Railway (WR) headquartered at Churchgate.[228] Mumbai is also well connected to most parts of India by the Indian Railways. Long-distance trains originate from Chhatrapati Shivaji TerminusDadarLokmanya Tilak TerminusMumbai CentralBandra TerminusAndheri and Borivali.[229]


Mumbai’s bus services carried over 5.5 million passengers per day in 2008,[218] which dropped to 2.8 million in 2015.[230] Public buses run by BEST cover almost all parts of the metropolis, as well as parts of Navi MumbaiMira-Bhayandar and Thane.[231] The BEST operates a total of 4,608 buses[232] with CCTV cameras installed, ferrying 4.5 million passengers daily[218] over 390 routes. Its fleet consists of single-decker, double-decker, vestibule, low-floor, disabled-friendly, air-conditioned and Euro III compliant diesel and compressed natural gas powered buses.[233] BEST introduced air-conditioned buses in 1998.[234] BEST buses are red in colour, based originally on the Routemaster buses of London.[235] Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC, also known as ST)[236] buses provide intercity transport connecting Mumbai with other towns and cities of Maharashtra and nearby states.[237][238] The Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) and Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) also operate their buses in Mumbai, connecting various nodes of Navi Mumbai and Thane to parts of Mumbai.[239][240]

Buses are generally favoured for commuting short to medium distances, while train fares are more economical for longer distance commutes.[241]

The Mumbai Darshan is a tourist bus service which explores numerous tourist attractions in Mumbai.[242] Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) lanes have been planned throughout Mumbai.[243] Though 88% of the city’s commuters travel by public transport, Mumbai still continues to struggle with traffic congestion.[244] Mumbai’s transport system has been categorised as one of the most congested in the world.[245]


Water transport in Mumbai consists of ferries, hovercrafts and catamarans. Services are provided by both government agencies as well as private partners.[246] Hovercraft services plied briefly in the late 1990s between the Gateway of India and CBD Belapurin Navi Mumbai. They were subsequently scrapped due to lack of adequate infrastructure.[247]


Mumbai is served by National Highway 3National Highway 4National Highway 8National Highway 17 and National Highway 222 of India’s National Highways system.[248] The Mumbai-Pune Expressway was the first expressway built in India.[249] The Eastern Freeway was opened in 2013. The Mumbai Nashik ExpresswayMumbai-Vadodara Expressway,[250] are under construction. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge, along with Mahim Causeway, links the island city to the western suburbs.[251]The three major road arteries of the city are the Eastern Express Highway from Sion to Thane, the Sion Panvel Expressway from Sion to Panvel and the Western Express Highway from Bandra to Dahisar.[252] Mumbai has approximately 1,900 km (1,181 mi) of roads.[253] There are five tolled entry points to the city by road.[254]

Mumbai had about 721,000 private vehicles as of March 2014,[255] 56,459 black and yellow taxis as of 2005,[256] and 106,000 auto rickshaws, as of May 2013.[257]


The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (formerly Sahar International Airport) is the main aviation hub in the city and the second busiest airport in India in terms of passenger traffic.[258] It handled 36.6 million passengers and 694,300 tonnes of cargo during FY 2014–2015.[259] An upgrade plan was initiated in 2006, targeted at increasing the capacity of the airport to handle up to 40 million passengers annually[260] and the new terminal T2 was opened in February 2014.[261]

The proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport to be built in the Kopra-Panvel area has been sanctioned by the Indian Government and will help relieve the increasing traffic burden on the existing airport.[262]

The Juhu Aerodrome was India’s first airport, and now hosts the Bombay Flying Club and a heliport operated by state-owned Pawan Hans.[263]


Mumbai is served by two major ports, Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, which lies just across the creek in Navi Mumbai.[264] Mumbai Port has one of the best natural harbours in the world, and has extensive wet and dry dock accommodation facilities.[265] Jawaharlal Nehru Port, commissioned on 26 May 1989, is the busiest and most modern major port in India.[266] It handles 55–60% of the country’s total containerised cargo.[267] Ferries from Ferry Wharf in Mazagaon allow access to islands near the city.[268]

The city is also the headquarters of the Western Naval Command, and also an important base for the Indian Navy.[140]

Utility services

Under colonial rule, tanks were the only source of water in Mumbai, with many localities having been named after them. The MCGM supplies potable water to the city from six lakes,[269][270] most of which comes from the Tulsi and Vihar lakes. The Tansa lake supplies water to the western suburbs and parts of the island city along the Western Railway.[271] The water is filtered at Bhandup,[271] which is Asia’s largest water filtration plant.[272][273][274] India’s first underground water tunnel was completed in Mumbai to supply water to the Bhandup filtration plant.[275][276]

About 700 million litres of water, out of a daily supply of 3500 million litres, is lost by way of water thefts, illegal connections and leakages, per day in Mumbai.[277]Almost all of Mumbai’s daily refuse of 7,800 metric tonnes, of which 40 metric tonnes is plastic waste,[278] is transported to dumping grounds in Gorai in the northwest, Mulund in the northeast, and to the Deonar dumping ground in the east.[279] Sewage treatment is carried out at Worli and Bandra, and disposed of by two independent marine outfalls of 3.4 km (2.1 mi) and 3.7 km (2.3 mi) at Bandra and Worli respectively.[280]

Electricity is distributed by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking in the island city, and by Reliance EnergyTata Power, and the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (Mahavitaran) in the suburbs.[281] Power supply cables are underground, which reduces pilferage, thefts and other losses.[282][283]

Cooking gas is supplied in the form of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders sold by state-owned oil companies,[284] as well as through piped natural gas supplied by Mahanagar Gas Limited.[285]



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