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For Netizens, Delhi’s hotter than Mumbai

It has been a longstanding debate that has evoked heartfelt reactions in most people for many years. So when a recent Ernst & Young survey revealed that Delhi had pipped Mumbai to become the best city to live in, the battlelines were etched strongly.

When we at the decided to take this battle a step further and ran a debate , asking if Delhi, was actually better than Mumbai, the response was a revelation, to us and many others.

A close shave between the country’s political capital and its commercial hub emerged, with Delhi scoring to scrape a win with 51 per cent of the votes over Mumbai’s 49 per cent.

Whereas Mumbai is the largest taxpayer in the country, and is one of India’s biggest cosmopolitans, Delhi wins hands down as far as infrastructure is concerned. Mumbai, with its easygoing-yet-suave lifestyle, is easily the hub of all cultural activities, thriving nightlife and riches. Mumbai is also the home to the biggest film industry in the country that further adds to its oomph and glam quotient. Mumbai, with all these and a lot more, is comparable to any world-class commercial city.

However, the study suggests that Mumbai falls a trifle short of being one up on Delhi, which glides its way to the top simply due to more space, more means of communication - in other words infrastructure.

The ones who voted for Mumbai did so because of Mumbai’s glamour, glitz and safety, especially where women are concerned. The ones who thought Delhi is a better place, did so courtesy its prowess in terms of education, lifestyle and effective utilisation of resources.

Vikram from Noida, a suburb of Delhi, gives a rather extreme view. “Mumbai is nothing but a collection of slums and misery.” Pravin, from New Delhi , agrees when he says that going “by the quality of living, Delhi is far better than Mumbai.

” Others, like Delhi-based Sameer, think that Mumbai is all hype, little substance. “It is just an over-hyped city. It has numerous problems and only due to Bollywood this city came into the limelight but in reality, it is a bad city in all ways.”

MK from Canada , gives a different perspective, when he says “Delhi is just like any other major metro in India, except Mumbai.

Anyone can live in Delhi, but not everyone is able to live in Mumbai. Mumbai is fun, exciting, challenging unlike Delhi and you need guts to live in Mumbai. If you are brave enough to go through Mumbai’s daily busy life, then it’s an anytime better to live than Delhi,” is what he has to offer.

Ash from Hong Kong feels that Delhi, or in fact, any other big city is better than Mumbai. “Delhi is at least a 100 times better than Mumbai. In fact, most big cities in the country are better than Mumbai.

The weather in Mumbai is horrible, extremely dirty streets, the pride of the Mumbaikars - local trains are over-crowded, cattle transporting boxes, and very rude people.”

However, Netizens, who voted for Mumbai had their own arguments to give. For instance, Yadvender from Mumbai , says with a lot of passion, “Mumbai is the powerhouse of India. Even Delhi survives on Mumbai’s money. It is just matter of time when Mumbai’s infrastructure will be of world-class.

As of now, money is being spent on Delhi for the forthcoming games in 2010. As far as the quality of people is concerned, the whole world knows Delhi can’t beat Mumbai in this lifetime.”

Rajinder Singh from Mumbai , adds, “Mumbai is the best place to stay, and is much friendlier than Delhi. Even though it seems always to be in a rush, but a Mumbaikar will surely help someone in need. Rest assured, you won’t be hoodwinked in Mumbai.”

Avikshit Moral from Bandra (W) agrees, “Mumbai is far better then Delhi because it does not dose off at 9 like Delhi and women are safer in Mumbai than Delhi. Mumbaikars are also better-mannered.” Hence, safety, along with friendliness and congeniality, is an area where Mumbai definitely scores.

Ziz from the US has a rather in-your-face comment when he says, “Mumbai spends crores for Delhi’s infrastructure. Mumbai pays highest Income Tax in the country but gets back a fraction of that by the Central government.

Delhi enjoys this tax money in spite of tax evasion (Can anybody explain how come a city with highest per capita income is not highest per capita tax paying?) Corruption, arrogance, male chauvinism are the qualities seen in Delhi.” However, he agrees that “Mumbai’s infrastructure has gone to the dogs, thanks to Delhi and its politicians.”

Abhijeet from Mumbai also takes on the infrastructural problems of the city, when he says, “I feel Mumbai is better than Delhi though Mumbai is overcrowded and infrastructure needs to be improved in terms of better maintained roads and well-managed traffic.

Mumbai is a coastal metropolis which adds immensity to its natural beauty. It is the most cosmopolitan of all Indian cities. It is, in fact, a global city in the making in next few years.

If it were not for the uncurbed exodus of people into the city, majority of whom lack basic civic sense, love and gratitude for the city, that the point is reached where there is debate over Delhi being better than Mumbai.”

Gautam from Canada agrees on the overall beauty, zest and natural aspect of Mumbai, and gives an optimistic view. He says, “Mumbai is a well-rounded city, as the above article puts forth.

It is working on its infrastructure as it has its own limitations with space but as far as safety, nightlife, public transit system etc. is concerned, Mumbai is the best. It has a very good mix of people representation from across India.”

Others like Abdul Salam from Dubai, thinks it is the inhabitants that make up the city. He says - “It is the people who make the difference. People of Mumbai are very friendly & you can trust most of them. I always have problems when I visit Delhi. I find every second person you meet in Delhi is a cheat.

Right from taxi drivers to the government officers, their only aim is to make money out of you. They misguide you even if are on the right track. As far as the Delhi infrastructure is concerned, the credit goes to all the states from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu for their contribution.”

And then there are some like John Paul from Tokyo , who has lived in both cities, but thinks, “Mumbai is a better place to live. Besides the given positive reasons, it is also people-friendly and peace-loving.”

While Mumbai received a lot of praises for its positives, it also bore the brunt of a lot of criticism. For instance, Gaurav from Sydney , thinks, “Mumbai has racism (faced by north Indians from fellow Indians), terrorism, flooding in monsoon (equates to poor infrastructure), a public transport system dating back to the Raj era, biggest slums in Asia, rampant rich-poor divide, excessive western lifestyle and a humid atmosphere.

Others criticised it on the basis of its political and religious crises. Rupika from Delhi points out, “Delhi does not have moral brigades rampaging a Valentine’s Day party!! You don’t get extortion calls!! At least you are safe in your own home!”

This survey has surely set off a ‘who’s better’ war, with loyalists and cynics rushing in where corporates and authorities fear to tread. And each believing that his city is the best, survey or no survey.


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