Reversed Realities in Rural Water Supply in IndiaPresentation Transcript
Swajaldhara Reversed Realities in Rural Water Supply in India
Aim of the presentation Political economy of the policy making: key motivations Political economy of the implementation: field level study Process based study Some of the lessons / concerns that emerged
Global principles in Swajaldhara Decentralisation or the principle of subsidiarity Demand Responsive or Bottom-up model Community ownership of water resource Participation of women Pricing water: capital cost and O&M
Possible convergence Global norms as normative orientations Swajal /Sector Reform Project Political Will Political decentralization
Uttar Pradesh State in the Northern region is the second largest state. Accounts for 16 percent of India’s population (Census 2001) Low rate of urbanization;79.18 percent of population lives in rural areas Classified into the underdeveloped states of India
The villages: Chaneta and Bhartaul(Bareilly District) Important industrial district in the western zone of the state 67 percent of the population resides in the villages Literacy rate is 47.8 percent
Bhartaul Most of the people are agricultural labourers and some run small shops in the city or the village itself.. The main source of drinking water, prior to the scheme was the India mark hand pump that is supplied by the Jal Nigam The poor households even today, continue to rely on the pumps that have serious quality problems Fear of the tank closing down looms large because of the high electricity bill;t he village has defaulted on the electricity payment
Chaneta The village has 650 households. It has a heterogeneous population and the settlements were organized along the caste lines. The scheme was proposed in 2004-2005 and became functional in 2007. High maintenance problems severe water quality problems
Reality check on principles Contextualizing participation: Information asymmetry and ‘agreed to do’ The Village Water and Sanitation Committee Community ownership Who owns the tank? Where was the ‘community’?
Women, Water and Participation Women were identified as the key beneficiaries of the programme (GoI, 2003). However the notion of empowerment seemed to be absent in the official discourse of implementation of Swajaldhara. The policy implementers, quite aware of the patriarchal context, were not very enthusiastic about the empowerment agenda within the policy. Women were a ‘symbolic’ part of the discourse
- in a village she is someone’s mother, someone’s daughter and someone’s wife, she has no individuality of her own, her source of information is always the man of the household Interview with Mr.Harinder Singh, Head of Abhinav NGO (25th November, 2008).
Institutional imbroglio Perception of villagers Attitude of the Support Organisation/NGO The attitude of the local bureaucracy Paradox: Status of the SO?
Iterations How bottom up became top down? Civil society and its accountability? the ‘uppers’ and the ‘lowers’ in the development discourse: the idea of frames? Is financial unviability the main problem or is there something much deeper than that? Is sustainability an economic phenomenon?
A Rights discourse in the making… Drinking water supply cannot be left to market forces as it does not recognize the importance of providing livelihood supply to all…the commodificaton of water will shift the focus of profits to be made from the scarce resource rather than human rights to water for livelihood (Government of India, 2009).