Contesting Sustainability in the peri-urban interface: the case of Ghaziabad


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Presentation by Pritpal Randhawa, STEPS Centre peri-urban project at the STEPS Centre Symposium, November 2010.

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Contesting Sustainability in the peri-urban interface: the case of Ghaziabad

  1. 1. Contesting Sustainability in the Peri-urban Interface: The Case of Water in Ghaziabad STEPS, Sarai and JNU Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex 23 & 24 September 2010
  2. 2. Sustainability and the Peri-urban? Highly contested zone. Complementarities leading to opportunities but also exclusions. Increasing environmental degradation and increasing marginalisation. Lack of services, lack of regulation, access deficit, Ambiguity, informality, illegality; organised irresponsibility. Increasing recognition of conflicts. Lack of approaches to realise rural-urban synergies and address poverty reduction and environment degradation, bringing together social, technological and environmental.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Water as entry point (with land, agriculture and health). </li></ul><ul><li>Identify actors and their positionality in relation to peri-urban water management. </li></ul><ul><li>Consultations of framings, narratives aspirations. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilisation of the poor for rights and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Examination of how sustainability/non-sustainability has been institutionalized in Delhi? </li></ul><ul><li>How to open up socially-just processes of decision-making? </li></ul>Research Focus
  4. 4. Ghaziabad – A peri-urban interface at the eastern border of Delhi. River Hindon which flows through Ghaziabad divides it into Trans-Hindon (west) and cis-Hindon (east) regions. A study was done in the Trans-Hindon region close to Delhi Border. There has been major transformations in this region in the last 10 years – conversion of agriculture into built up area, polluting factories relocated from Delhi, construction of high rise residential and commercial complexes, migration of work force , growth of informal localities etc. Case Study Area
  5. 5. Case Study Area Map of India Ghaziabad Delhi
  6. 6. Dominant Narratives and Pathways <ul><li>Universal ‘safe’ access via piped water supply and long distant transfer of water. </li></ul><ul><li>Cost recovery and commodification. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Making Water Safe’ (technology and quality) water filter industry, bottled water, S&T, Diverse notions/standards of pollution, risk, wastewater treatment, sewerage. </li></ul><ul><li>Beautification and purification. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Constituted of plethora of government agencies at different scales within and beyond water sector –either minimal or negligible interaction between them. </li></ul><ul><li>Guided by policies drafted in accordance to the politics of ruling party in the centre and the state - Translation of policies into action plan is a top-down process </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of the action plan is done by team of engineers - modus operandi is based on calculations and projections. They overlook the interface of technical solutions with conflicts and contradictions at the ground. </li></ul>Official System and Actors
  8. 8. <ul><li>National Water Policy 2002 – “ Adequate safe drinking water facilities should be provided to the entire population both in urban and in rural areas”. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no link between water supply and waste water. Both are treated separately. </li></ul><ul><li>At national scale nothing on domestic waste water. To deal with industrial waste water – national level agency (CPCB). </li></ul><ul><li>Silence on water quality at all the levels. </li></ul><ul><li>At the level of implementation - logic of demand and supply (assessment of present availability and consumption, and projection of future needs). </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict within the action plan and officials in relation to informal settlements (IS) – plan states regularisation of IS, the officials opines it is not their responsibility. </li></ul>Official Framings
  9. 9. Field Insights-Coping Strategies <ul><li>Multiple modes of supply and access (formal and informal; legal and illegal) </li></ul><ul><li>Separation between access and quality </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship between memory, community and use </li></ul><ul><li>By choice: Opting out (purchase/power/patronage/mobilisation) </li></ul><ul><li>Water safety and self reliance </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse notions and systems of waste and contamination </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Nexus between the low rank official staff (maintenance staff) and the people of informal colonies. </li></ul><ul><li>Role of elected representative as a negotiator of informal practices with the formal system. </li></ul><ul><li>The silence of the formal system on informal practices </li></ul>Link between Formal System and Informal Practices
  11. 12. <ul><li>Incomplete knowledge and unrecognised cross-sectoral linkages (water-health-agriculture) </li></ul><ul><li>People presented with new risks </li></ul><ul><li>Certain risks highlighted over others </li></ul><ul><li>Whose responsibility to control risk? </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies presented as reducing risk </li></ul><ul><li>Various tactics to sell technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Language of science and guarantee of safety </li></ul>Notions of Risk, and Technological Choices available to the Poor
  12. 13. <ul><li>Meetings with senior officials – Peri-urban poor have tried very hard to put forth their demand of formal water supply in the offices of several senior officials but nothing happened. </li></ul><ul><li>Official forums of participation – People are unaware of forums such as friends of industries or friends of irrigation etc. as mentioned by officials. </li></ul><ul><li>Elected representative in the ULB – this is the only thing that seems to work but not in a way as it is expected to work. The municipal councilor play the role of negotiator between the formal system and informal practices. </li></ul>Mobilisation of Poor
  13. 14. Peri-urban Sustainability <ul><li>Recognise conflicts between… </li></ul><ul><li>Universal standards and local experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Linking access and quality </li></ul><ul><li>Access and sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Justice and illegality </li></ul><ul><li>Good governance and social justice </li></ul><ul><li>      </li></ul>
  14. 15. Way Forward <ul><li>Where does the peri urban fit into urban planning ? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the geographical and social distribution of water be made more equitable? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the true cost of water and who is paying for what? </li></ul><ul><li>Is sectoral, administrative and jurisdictional integration possible? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we bring together equity and ecological integrity? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the debate of peri-urban futures be opened up and democratised? </li></ul>
  15. 16. Thank You! Alankar Bhagwati Amitabh Kundu Hayley Macgregor Fiona Marshall Lyla Mehta Pritpal Randhawa Dipu Sharan Linda Waldman S ocial T echnological and E nvironmental P athways to S ustainability