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Citizen's Participation and Water-issue in the City of Gurugoan

Authors: BIKRAMADITYA CHOUDHARY*, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: Transformation Pathways, Participatory Governance
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Gurugram, the second largest city in the state of Haryana and is part of the national capital region (NCR). It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, both spatially and demographically. The city is dotted by swanky malls, skyscrapers, and golf courses though basic public amenities especially water continue to be woefully inadequate for the poor and rich alike. Water is like seasonal hazard with both extremes, like dry wells in the summer and flooded streets in the monsoon. Formalized informality in planning and consequent haphazard growth in and around the city has had severe repercussions for the ecological system with loss of wetlands and ponds and interruption of natural drainage channels. This has spelt a disaster for the waterscape with 70 percent of the city being reliant on groundwater sources for fulfilling their water needs (CSE, 2012). Consequently, the groundwater fell rapidly from 18.7 meters (below ground level) in 2005 to 34.35 meters (below ground level) in 2014 and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) declared the district as a "dark zone" withdrawing all permission to draw on groundwater in 2016. We as a group of researchers under TRCSS JNU have intervened to create a citizen’s network to engage with the local and city level institutional agencies to better the waterscape. The present paper will discuss some of the initiatives, including establishing Gurugoan Water Forum in 2017.

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