Abstract

International organizations firmly ratifying the human right to water though neoliberal reforms have pushed for increasing commodification and marketization of water. Accelerated urbanization in cities of the Global South have intensified problems associated with access to water and innovative solutions such as water kiosks are seen as the future of water access in underserved areas. This paper studies access to potable water in four resettlement colonies of Delhi with a focus on the water kiosks which operate in these colonies. Tracing the broader reforms which have been initiated in the public utility (Delhi Jal Board), the paper investigates the model of water kiosk of these colonies and the extent to which access to water has been impacted by the introduction of the water kiosks. Based on the processes of changes and continuities in the waterscapes of formal yet marginal spaces in the city and concomitant reconfigurations in urban governance, the paper argues that water kiosks serve to reproduce the uneven power relations embedded in the process of neoliberal urbanization.

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