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

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



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

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

    • 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
    • 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.
      • Water as entry point (with land, agriculture and health).
      • Identify actors and their positionality in relation to peri-urban water management.
      • Consultations of framings, narratives aspirations.
      • Mobilisation of the poor for rights and services.
      • Examination of how sustainability/non-sustainability has been institutionalized in Delhi?
      • How to open up socially-just processes of decision-making?
      Research Focus
    • 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
    • Case Study Area Map of India Ghaziabad Delhi
    • Dominant Narratives and Pathways
      • Universal ‘safe’ access via piped water supply and long distant transfer of water.
      • Cost recovery and commodification.
      • ‘ Making Water Safe’ (technology and quality) water filter industry, bottled water, S&T, Diverse notions/standards of pollution, risk, wastewater treatment, sewerage.
      • Beautification and purification.
      • Constituted of plethora of government agencies at different scales within and beyond water sector –either minimal or negligible interaction between them.
      • 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
      • 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.
      Official System and Actors
      • National Water Policy 2002 – “ Adequate safe drinking water facilities should be provided to the entire population both in urban and in rural areas”.
      • There is no link between water supply and waste water. Both are treated separately.
      • At national scale nothing on domestic waste water. To deal with industrial waste water – national level agency (CPCB).
      • Silence on water quality at all the levels.
      • At the level of implementation - logic of demand and supply (assessment of present availability and consumption, and projection of future needs).
      • 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.
      Official Framings
    • Field Insights-Coping Strategies
      • Multiple modes of supply and access (formal and informal; legal and illegal)
      • Separation between access and quality
      • Relationship between memory, community and use
      • By choice: Opting out (purchase/power/patronage/mobilisation)
      • Water safety and self reliance
      • Diverse notions and systems of waste and contamination
      • Nexus between the low rank official staff (maintenance staff) and the people of informal colonies.
      • Role of elected representative as a negotiator of informal practices with the formal system.
      • The silence of the formal system on informal practices
      Link between Formal System and Informal Practices
      • Incomplete knowledge and unrecognised cross-sectoral linkages (water-health-agriculture)
      • People presented with new risks
      • Certain risks highlighted over others
      • Whose responsibility to control risk?
      • Technologies presented as reducing risk
      • Various tactics to sell technologies
      • Language of science and guarantee of safety
      Notions of Risk, and Technological Choices available to the Poor
      • 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.
      • Official forums of participation – People are unaware of forums such as friends of industries or friends of irrigation etc. as mentioned by officials.
      • 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.
      Mobilisation of Poor
    • Peri-urban Sustainability
      • Recognise conflicts between…
      • Universal standards and local experiences
      • Linking access and quality
      • Access and sustainability
      • Justice and illegality
      • Good governance and social justice
    • Way Forward
      • Where does the peri urban fit into urban planning ?
      • How can the geographical and social distribution of water be made more equitable?
      • What is the true cost of water and who is paying for what?
      • Is sectoral, administrative and jurisdictional integration possible?
      • Can we bring together equity and ecological integrity?
      • How can the debate of peri-urban futures be opened up and democratised?
    • 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