ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Population of Mumbai

Population of Mumbai SUDHA DESHPANDE is attempting to establish underenumeration of 1991 population of Mumbai on the basis of migration tables recently released by the Census ('Evidence of Underenumcration in 1991 Census Population of Mumbai'. EPW, June 28). Three equations, which are in fact simple variations of each other, are used to conclude that the estimate of 0.3 million as migrant population during 1981-91 as reflected in 1991 Census, is incorrect. (Incidentally there is a misprint, symbol O should replace M.) According to the 1991 Census Table D-2 for M umbai, the migrant population at 1.2 million is computed by adding those people having stated that the duration of their residence in Mumbai is 0 to 9 years. However, this shows only the in-migrants and not the net migrants. The estimate of out-migrants from Mumbai is not given in this table nor is it discussed in the article. If estimate of in-migrants, especially in the adjoining districts of Thane and Raigad from Mumbai is made, the picture about net migration for Mumbai would be clear. High compound growth rate of population during 1981-91 period for the neighbouring areas like Thane Municipal Corporation (5.51 per cent), Kalyan Municipal Corporation (5.31 per cent), Mira-Bhayander Municipal Council (8.44 per cent) and Bhiwandi Municipal Council (8.26 per cent) indicates substantial in-migration, large part of that could be from Mumbai. It therefore follows that till an independent estimate of net migration from Mumbai is produced, dismissing the Census 1991 figures for Mumbai as an undercount may not be valid. Migration of population from city to suburbs, to extended suburbs and then to the adjoining towns which are well connected by the$uburban railway services as in case of Mumbai is in line with the generally observed demographic phenomena in case of many cities of the world. As regards her criticism of urban planners unquestionably accepting 1991 Census population, it may be clarified that population in planning at the regional level is taken as a broad indicator of growth (unlike in a plan at city level). The population forecast made in the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Plan 1996-2001 is based on the likely share of MMR in Maharashtra and India and not on the growth rate observed during 1981 -91. The 2001 population of Mumbai according to this plan is about 12.93 million. Even if we assume that the 1991 population was 10.5 million this should not be an underestimate.

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