It feels like India is about to burst. If there’s one way to sum up two-weeks’ worth of experiences here, it’s that the country’s cities are beyond capacity. It doesn’t take an urban planner-in training to see that.
In Delhi and Hyderabad, the traffic is unbearable. Clouds of black diesel smoke spew from exhaust pipes. The wind carries dust from the unpaved streets waiting for the delayed monsoon rains. Chaos ensues at every intersection as cattle are given priority over pedestrians. Everywhere I look there are hundreds of people! So many people!
With a population of nearly 1.2 billion (17.5% of the world’s total population), and 30% of which live in urban areas, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that urban conditions are as strained as they are. But I am surprised. I’m taken aback by the seeming complacency of an entire population to accept urban chaos, lack of infrastructure, and public health risks as the norm.
Read more from Urban Planning student Evelyn Ferreira as she writes at her personal blog about her summer interning in India. She plans to make podcasts of individual entries to bring in the sounds of India into her storytelling.