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Managing the Water Crisis in Bundelkhand, India: A Governance Approach

Singh, Radhika and Joshi, Shail (2020): Managing the Water Crisis in Bundelkhand, India: A Governance Approach.

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Abstract

The Bundelkhand region in India has been dealing with a severe water crisis for the last two decades. This water crisis has received a significant amount of attention from the central government, media and academics. However, although multiple policies and acts have been passed, and extensive resources distributed, there has not been much improvement on the ground. This thesis analyzes the reasons behind ineffective water governance and implementation at all levels of government, and concludes that over-centralization of planning, crisis-response rather than long-term planning, and a lack of pragmatic planning are key to understanding the current situation. More generally, the disjointed nature of water governance in India has made it difficult for the public sector to carry out cohesive planning approaches. We suggest reforms that can be adopted, and consider the possible consequences to water management and planning if Bundelkhand were to become a separate state.

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