Land, water & power

Published on
October 20, 2015

Vij, S. & Narain, V. (2016). Land, water & power: The demise of common property resources inperiurban Gurgaon, India. Land Use Policy,  50: 59–66.

This paper describes how urbanization processes and urban expansion intersect with social and power relations to reduce the access of periurban communities to common property resources (CPRs). Unequal power structures mean that certain groups are deprived of access to village CPRs. Processes of urban expansion further reduce access to CPRs, as the latter are acquired to support urban expansion. Though rural–urban transformations are characterized by the emergence of new sources of irrigation such as wastewater, not all are able to benefit from them. The acquisition of common property grazing lands to support the drinking water needs of the city affects the livelihood of livestock dependent population, that shift to casual labor. This also translates into a shift from grazing, the domain of men in the household, to stall-feeding, the domain of women, and thereby creating additional responsibilities for women in natural resource collection. The demise of CPRs such as village ponds with the increased pressure on groundwater resources increase the drudgery of women and marginalized groups in accessing water.

Keywords: Urbanization, Common property resources, Periurban, Gurgaon, India