chapter  4
28 Pages

Demonstrating development

In the previous chapter I described the encounter between two bureaucracies,

one Indian and the other within the World Bank, and explained how their

negotiations for a major programme of urban water governance reform stum-

bled and was recovered. Some six years after discussions began, these negoti-

ations culminated in the signing of a loan agreement for the KUWASIP. Early

diagnostic work had painted a clear picture of the need of reform. Identifying a

number of economic and techno-managerial problems with water governance

in the state, a number of equally economic and techno-managerial solutions

were envisaged and proposed. The identified problems and solutions matched

lucidly with the mainstream consensus that had emerged within international

policy circles throughout the 1990s on what the characteristics of good water

governance should be. But while the problems and solutions were tidily and

neatly bound within a technocratic framework of what was wrong and what

was needed to fix it, putting Karnataka on the predetermined path of reform

would prove far more political.