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Pritpal Randhawa - Politics of formal water management and sustainability concerns in peri-urban Delhi
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Pritpal Randhawa - Politics of formal water management and sustainability concerns in peri-urban Delhi


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Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice …

Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice

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  • This presentation is a part of the larger study done at the STEPS centre at the University of Sussex, which looks in more detail at several other issues such as water quality, pollution, informal practices of water access, private water vendor etc. in the peri-urban interface.
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    • 1. Politics of Formal Water Management and Sustainability Concerns in Peri-urban Delhi STEPS Centre, University of Sussex Conference on “Pathways to Sustainability: Agenda for New Politics of Environment , Development and Social Justice” 23 & 24 September 2010, IDS, University of Sussex, UK
    • 2.
      • For or against water reforms (public vs private) (Mishra and Goldar 2008; Hall and Lobina 2007; Ranganathan et al 2009).
      • Policy driven vs need driven approach (Allen et al 2006).
      • For or against formalising private water vendors (Kjellen and Macgranahan 2006; Dardenne 2006; Reut et al 2007)
      • Waste water reuse and management ( Parkinson and Taylor 2003; Bradford et al 2003 ; Marshall et al 2007)
      • For most of these studies problem of peri-urban water is a matter of flawed policy and regulatory practices.
      Debates on Peri-urban Water
    • 3.
      • Do not engage deeply with understanding the complex interactions between formal policies, technical interventions, peri-urban action plans.
      • Overlook the inter-relationship between formal mechanisms and informal practices.
      • Do not engage with the question of sustainable water management.
      Gaps in the Existing Studies
    • 4.
      • Peri-urban water management is an outcome of complex interaction between actors, policies, technical interventions and informal practices.
      • Who are the actors that shape the water supply and waste water system in peri-urban interface?
      • What is the official framing in relation to water supply, waste water and people’s participation in decision making?
      • What are the ground realities in relation to official framing on these issues?
      • How is the formal system and informal practices inter-related to each other?
      Peri-urban Water Management Our Strand
    • 5. Case Study Area Map of India Ghaziabad Delhi
    • 6.
      • 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
    • 7.
      • National Water Policy 2002 – “ Adequate safe drinking water facilities should be provided to the entire population both in urban and in rural areas”.
      • 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.
      Water Supply - Official Framing
    • 8.
      • Reflection of conflict within the official system on the ground.
      • Logic of demand and supply fails.
      • Peri-urban dwellers forced to adopt coping mechanism – tapping pipeline going to formal colony, using submersible, buying water from vendors etc.
      • Formal system in the form of maintenance staff and elected representative supports informal practices.
      Water Supply - Ground Realities
    • 9.
      • There is no link between water supply and waste water. Both are treated separately.
      • Nothing on domestic waste water at national scale. At the level of city, the Ghaziabad Master Plan 2021 states 80 percent of Ghaziabad has underground drainage system.
      • At national scale there is an agency to deal with industrial waste water(CPCB). At local level the regional pollution control office deals with the issue by monitoring the industrial pollution.
      Waste Water - Official Framing
    • 10. Waste Water - Ground Realities
      • No underground drainage system. Informal colonies discharge waste water into open drains.
      • The industries do not use ETP installed in premise. No CETP in the region.
      • Industries discharge their untreated waste water either in open drains or dump it somewhere in isolation.
      • Both domestic and industrial waste water through the network of drains flow into the river Hindon.
    • 11.
      • National Water Policy 2002 has strong view on people’s participation in planning, designing and implementation.
      • Manifestation of national assertion at local level.
      • - Senior officials routine meeting hours.
      • - Participatory forums like friends of industries, friends of irrigation etc.
      • - Elected representative of Urban Local Body (ULB)
      People’s Participation Official Framing
    • 12.
      • 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 - People are unaware of forums such as friends of industries or friends of irrigation etc.
      • 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.
      People’s Participation Ground Realities
    • 13.
      • Nexus between the 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
    • 14.
      • - Linking Water supply and waste water.
      • Increasing interaction between the govt. agencies within and beyond water sectors at different scales.
      • Linking technical interventions with the processes at the ground.
      • Resolving the conflict between the action plan and the implementation.
      • Enhancing the role of ULBs.
      • Involving people in co-framing the plan and its implementation.
      Sustainable Water Management
    • 15. - Conventional forms of engagement (workshops, policy discussions). - Non-conventional form of engagement - Multi-Criteria mapping (MCM) is an interactive, decision analysis technique that provides a way of appraising a series of different options, or possible ways forward, for a complex issue. It helps individuals to explain their beliefs and views about a complex or controversial issue in a structured and systematic way. Engagement with Actors
    • 16. Thank You!