ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses issues related to access to basic services such as drinking water and sanitation in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Delhi. The aim is to shed light on the politics of agency, on questions of urban cohesion through infrastructure services and, more generally, on some aspects of the intersectoral political economy of reforms. For Kolkata and Hyderabad, the empirical core of the comparative study draws upon qualitative and quantitative information collected from inhabitants and users, elected representatives of regions served by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH), as well as NGOs in Hyderabad that focus on water. In Delhi, the survey focuses on a large range ofactors — particularly parastatals but also private and from civil society — that interact with the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in the very specifi c context of the institutional complexity of urban governance in this national capital city.