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Indian Metros – Mitigating Security, Safety and Health Hazards

Published May 15, 2020
Updated May 15, 2020

India’s metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad are growth engines of the country. The combined population of India metros is over 100 million equal to some of the larger countries in the World. Each of these metros has a population varying from 8 to 20 million plus equal to some of the medium sized global economies. Packed in relatively small areas varying from 2000 to 8000 square kms, these face multiple security, safety and health challenges mitigating which assumes importance for the country’s growth trajectory. The hazards are an outcome of unregulated growth, large transient relatively rootless populace lacking common social glue, socio-economic divergences in tightly knit spaces, legacy of India’s caste and religious serrations, rising aspirations of the erstwhile underclass and corruption. Terrorism is a Black Swan event but may not be in 2018 given potent dangers to which the World has been exposed recently and open threats by al Qaeda to trigger large casualty blasts in Indian cities in December 2018. Return of Islamic State of Iraq and al Shams (ISIS) fighters as the group has disintegrated in Iraq and Syria as well as Lone Ranger strikes remain a concern. Even small bomb incidents can have cause huge losses in Indian metros with large concentration of population especially in the old quarters.

State of Terrorism in India 2018 – Assessment by US State Department
Disasters – manmade and natural pose a major hazard due to poor mitigation responses and lack of effective civic infrastructure. The tragedy in the fire incident in a vegetarian bar in Kamal Mills in Mumbai in Mumbai in December is symptomatic of lack of enforcements by the civic administration. Heavy rains are a potent challenge due to unregulated growth and unstinted development resulting in flooding the people of Chennai being a major victim in 2015. Pandemics with the incidence of COVID 19 and vulnerability of metros is a grim reminder of cleaning up the urban sprawls so vulnerable to spread of super viruses as the Novel Corona Women security is a constant menace the national capital Delhi NCR being an eternal hot spot where division of responsibility for administration and law and order remains a key challenge which denotes female residents are unlikely to have any relief.
Home Minister’s Review of the prevailing Law and Order situation in Delhi
Air pollution will remain a challenge as only half hearted measures are taken in spurts. Health hazards arising from smog can be only partially mitigated by air filters and other means. Armed crime with well armed criminal gangs having high mobility on SUVs and motor cycles will be a key threat as proliferation to new metros is evident in some measure. Cyber criminals will continue to prowl metro citizens preying on the most vulnerable and unprotected individuals and corporate alike. Law and Order are increasingly likely to lock down metros in 2018 – New Year 2018 in Pune and Mumbai denoting grim portends of the same. Agitating groups are increasingly prone to attempts to lock down metros given the oxygen of publicity that can be attained by acts of vandalism. Social media will remain a common thread across these threat domains. To receive daily industry specific alerts of your city, town, district or state email –