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Managing the Indian Metropolis: Governance trends in Mumbai and Delhi. Dr. Joop de Wit, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague. The presentation. From Government to Governance Patterns and problems of urban growth Problems of governance: coordination, capacity, corruption

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Managing the indian metropolis governance trends in mumbai and delhi l.jpg

Managing the Indian Metropolis: Governance trends in Mumbai and Delhi

Dr. Joop de Wit,

Institute of Social Studies,

The Hague

The presentation l.jpg
The presentation and Delhi

  • From Government to Governance

  • Patterns and problems of urban growth

  • Problems of governance: coordination, capacity, corruption

  • Urban decentralisation & Wards Committees

  • Public-community partnerships: Resident Welfare Associations

  • Implications for governance and participation for the middle classes and for the poor/slum dwellers

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Governance- 1 and Delhi

  • Moving from Government to Governance

  • ‘The set of formal and informal rules, structures and processes which determines the way in which individuals and organisations can exercise power over the decisions which affect their welfare.’

  • It is a multi-actor process with the Government as well as weaker and stronger actors who need to cooperate to solve collective problems

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Governance - 2 and Delhi

  • There are formal (laws, procedures), but also informal structures and rules (caste/tribal organisations, ethics, customs, patronage relations).

  • Governance is not only about inputs, outcomes and impacts, but values such as transparency, integrity, honesty are important in themselves.

  • Finally, governance is inherently political, as it is about the allocation of (scarce) resources- and all actors (groups) will try and further their own interest

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Indian Mega-cities and Delhi

  • New Delhi, India’s capital, has a population of 14 million people in 2001; Greater Mumbai has approximately 17 million people

  • In Delhi 26% of population lives in slums; in Mumbai it is as much as 49%

  • Conditions are generally better in Delhi: more capital & investment, more industry, better infrastructure and services. High per capita incomes; bigger middle class; the poor mostly re-settled to the suburbs

  • Mumbai: enormous stress on basic services, housing, transport: serious lack of land, massive urban poverty in slums all-over the city

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City Management and Delhi

  • By and large cities grow ‘naturally’ and rather spontaneously, in spite of master plans and a machinery of licenses: urban planning is seen as a failure

  • In Delhi as many as 80% of the buildings are ‘illegal’ or unauthorized: there is a shadow world of bribes, deals, illegal constructions and additions with large developers and ‘land-Mafiosi’ setting the tone in collaboration with corrupt officials and politicians

  • Enormous pressure on land and high prices

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City Management - 2 and Delhi

  • So while a core structural problem is corruption, other key problems of city management include problems of co-ordination between the many agencies that run cities (Delhi: MCD, GOD, NCT, DDA etc)

  • The bureaucracy is big, slow and works in a ‘top-down’ manner

  • There is lots of ‘political interference’ where politicians interfere for selfish reasons in policy, benefit unduly, or channel benefits to their ‘vote banks’: low trust in politicians

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Governance Reforms and Delhi

  • In the 1990s liberalisation of the Indian economy which had important impacts especially on Indian cities: ‘global cities’ like Bangalore emerged - leading also to higher economic growth & more powerful corporate sector & a growing middle class

  • 1992: urban decentralisation legislation: the 74th Constitutional Amendment. More power for municipalities, reservation of 33% of council seats for women, creation of wards committees (stadsdeelraden) in cities

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Decentralisation impacts and Delhi

  • City corporations have been rather reluctant to delegate powers and funds to the Wards Committees: they are still relatively powerless

  • One Ward Committee still has to govern populations as large as 400-800,000, so ‘proximity’ is an issue and hence low scope for more accountability and transparency

  • Risk of elite capture: middle and high income groups directly contact Ward office; the poor/ slum people have access problems and contact brokers or councillors

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Urban decentralisation- 2 and Delhi

  • So decentralisation has not generally translated into increased participatory democracy.

  • However, large differences across India: in cities like Calcutta (West Bengal) and Cochin (Kerala) it is rather the poor who appear to make most use of the new Wards Committee structures

  • Here the wards are small (7000-32,000), people are well organised and literacy amongst the poor is high (related to the dominance of communist parties in these states)

  • The wards committees here have representatives from community, trade & professional associations

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Public-Private (community) partnerships and Delhi

  • In both Mumbai and Delhi (more so) increasing incidence of new cooperative arrangements between the City government and organised citizens

  • In Delhi the organisation of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) is encouraged (Bhagidari) and they are taking over some tasks normally done by the state (security, SWM, fee collection, organising water, maintain parks etc)

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The future of Governance and Delhi

  • Indian middle classes are manifesting themselves more and more - through organisations like RWA – but these may not be very pro-poor (e.g. object to slums)

  • They mistrust politicians: the poor vote more than the rich. Rich groups may directly target offices to redress their grievances using good contacts & clout

  • They may file petitions in court – leading to almost activist role of Courts/ Supreme Court

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Polarisation rich-poor? and Delhi

  • While the poor vote more, and are more politically active, their interests are not really served- only just before the elections

  • In the uneven and unequal multi-actor urban governance arena, their position is weak – and undermined by reforms like health and education reforms (market/fees), more evictions, paying more for urban services

  • Can the weak Indian state correct this risk of income polarisation – and bolster the position of the poor? How ‘participatory’ are RWAs?