Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Publications of CSSP Scholars

Roy, Deya (2014). "Understanding the Delhi Urban Waterscape through the Actor Network Theory". International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 2014, online first. DOI: 10.1177/1087724X14553851 Download.
Abstract: A major function of the municipal authorities in a city is ensuring a clean water supply for its inhabitants, which is achieved through a technological network, that is, the network of pipelines conveying water to various parts of the city. To understand urban technological networks such as the city water supply, the intermixing of wider social and economic realities with the transformation of such networks needs to be explored. A socio-technical approach gaining popularity with urban geographers for an understanding of social and technological development in concert is the Actor Network Theory (ANT), which focuses on the relationships between the human and the non-human. By taking the example of Delhi, the capital of India, this article explores how ANT provides a way to include material entities such as standpipes, water treatment plants, tube wells, and so on, into analyses of societal water governance networks and institutions.

Saxena, Anurita (2014). "Run-of-the-River Schemes and the quest for Renewable Energy in Himachal Pradesh". NMML Occasional Paper Series: Perspectives in Indian Development # 40. Download

Abstract: Anxieties about climate change have given a fresh impetus to renewable energy enthusiasts. In India, most official and popular imagination describe these renewable technologies as being environmental friendly, decentralized, equitable, sustainable and accessible. But does such rhetoric actually translate into realities on the ground? The pursuit of hydroelectric projects in the state of Himachal Pradesh (North Western India), I will argue, provides an apt context to reconsider the strengths and pitfalls of renewable energy projects. The government of Himachal Pradesh has been vigorously seeking, in recent years, to harness the states' hydro-power potential (23,000 MW). In fact, more than 8,347 MW have already been commissioned. But has this developmental strategy been appropriate and sustainable? Electricity generation has mostly been through run-of-the-river (ROR) technologies: considered to be more viable and environment friendly. These RORs, some argue, require minimum of submergence and relocation of communities. However, these structures also require diversion of waters through weirs and dams into tunnels. Constructing the latter entails massive muck dumping, diversion of rivers and streams, drying up of water sources and most importantly indirectly affecting people and even entire village settlements. My paper will seek to explore the various tensions and points of discord that have erupted between the "indirectly affected communities" and the state government's enthusiastic pursuit of renewable energy. It will hope to pose the problem of renewable energy as a conceptual challenge to terms such as "appropriate", "sustainable" and "environmentally equity".

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