How Mumbai lost its open spaces, water bodies

Mumbai’s growth in the British era and post-independence years saw a frenzy of construction. This ‘development’ came at a cost. The city lost water bodies, marsh lands, open spaces and green zones. As population multiplied and the city expanded, more natural areas were constructed upon — hills quarried to build roads, mangroves and trees chopped to construct more houses, and flowing rivers turned into stagnant drains and dump yards. Here’s an exclusive excerpt from a research study, to be launched as a book, on how Mumbai grew into an urban jungle at the cost of its natural areas.