Images of India: Mumbai: Maximum City, Minimum Infrastructure…

The city of 18.4 million people is running out of space for its waste, and Deonar, Asia’s oldest and largest dumpsite, is bursting. Each day, more than 500 trucks line up along a two-lane dirt road in an eastern suburb, waiting to add to a mountain of refuse tall enough to submerge the White House twice over. That pile began in 1927. A galloping economy, coupled with surging urban populations, has propelled India’s most basic and inadequate infrastructure to a breaking point. Mumbai produces 11,000 metric tons of trash each day. The current method of waste disposal isn’t only a health and environmental hazard; it’s also taking up prime real estate. The city crams 19,652 people in every square kilometer. Almost half — equivalent to twice the population of Denmark — live in slums such as Dharavi that have grown alongside the dumps.