Depletion of common property resources in peri urban areas of India

Published on
December 3, 2015

Narain, V. & Vij, S. (2016). Critical review: where have all the commons gone? Geoforum, 68: 21–24.

In the Critical Review, we illustrated how various factors have been responsible for the depletion of common property resources in peri urban areas of India. It also highlights, how these factors have changed over the period of time.

Common property resources (CPRs) have provided a basis for sustenance to countless households, especially those that lack access to private assets. Several factors have eroded the access of CPR dependent communities, such as, conscious policy decisions of the state, elite domination, the process of land consolidation and commercialization. In the period of neo-liberal reforms in India, after 1991, the nature of threats to the commons has changed. Emerging factors such as urbanization, land acquisition and real estate development have played a more significant role in depleting the CPRs. The commons have increasingly come to bear the ecological foot-print of urbanization as they got acquired or encroached upon for urban expansion and required infrastructure. This compromises the livelihood security of those who depend on them for sustenance. There is a need for debate on alternative and more sustainable models of urbanization.

Keywords: Common property resources, Depleting factors, (Peri) urban