chapter  7
15 Pages

Conclusion: the power to reform

And so it was. Despite democratic ‘rumblings’, since the 1990s the state of Kar-

nataka has been moving forward on an agenda to reform the character and insti-

tutions of urban water governance along a market-oriented development

trajectory. Some of those who are conceptualizing, designing and implementing

the reforms are aware that they go against the democratic will of many citizens,

but they are not deterred. Some of those with the power to reform firmly believe

such measures are necessary for the improvement of the environment, society,

the economy and the living conditions of the poor. They are motivated by what

Li (2007) would refer to as the ‘will to improve’. Others, however, actively

pursue a role in such activities because of the personal, professional and political

benefits and rewards that can, and are, made available to them. And there are

others again, who are simply doing their job. Whether believers, private maxi-

mizers, or followers, those with the power to reform act as trustees of other

people’s development. It is these trustees in all their guises, not the common

citizens, who shape and make what I have referred to as the determined path to,

and of, development.