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Urban planning, water provisioning and infrastructural violence at public housing resettlement sites in Ahmedabad, India

Renu Desai
Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India; renu.desai@cept.ac.in

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the links between urban planning and the politics of water provisioning and violence and conflict in people’s lives by drawing upon research in a low-income locality in Ahmedabad, India. By focusing on public housing sites constructed to resettle poor and low-income residents displaced from central and intermediate areas of the city for urban development projects, the paper looks beyond poor, informal neighbourhoods to explore the dynamics of water provisioning and inequalities in the city. A close examination of the water infrastructure at the sites and their everyday workings is undertaken in order to unravel the socio-material configurations which constitute inadequate water flows, and the ways in which urban planning, policies and governance produce infrastructural violence at the sites. It also traces the various forms of water-related deprivations, burdens, inequities, tensions and conflicts that emerge in people’s lives as a result of their practices in the context of this infrastructural violence.

KEYWORDS: Water, infrastructural violence, urban planning, public housing, resettlement, India