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Karpouzoglou, Timothy (2012)
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: HD1635, HN980, HT0101
This thesis explores the role of expert-led policy processes in addressing water quality. It does so by drawing on the ‘peri-urban’ as a setting which exemplifies contemporary social and environmental challenges associated with river and groundwater pollution, as well as the health and livelihood implications for the poorest citizens in peri-urban areas. The peri-urban area of Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi, provides a good reference point for understanding those challenges, while India’s environmental regulatory agency (the Central Pollution Control Board) demonstrates how policy experts influence such a setting by enacting their institutional role and mandate.\ud \ud The thesis examines the ways in which problems associated with deteriorating water quality in peri-urban areas are often neglected in expert-led policy processes, and the consequent implications for peri-urban poor communities. It argues that expert-driven policy approaches to addressing water quality are formulated almost exclusively on scientific grounds, while underlying ‘non-scientific’ decisions and choices, emerging from actors operating at levels from policy framing to policy implementation, are not awarded the same importance, thus ignoring issues that pertain to the social, environmental and political implications of the problems.\ud \ud By drawing on qualitative research, the thesis focuses on two case studies. One examines the Central Pollution Control Board’s framing of policy initiatives while the other follows the implementation of such policies in peri-urban Ghaziabad. The thesis demonstrates how the scale of monitoring water quality is heavily biased towards national rather than local level priorities. This leads to an understatement of important water quality problems that affect peri-urban areas in favour of large-scale analyses of pollution in river basins. This has the effect of understating important water quality problems that affect peri-urban areas in poorer localities such as villages within the Ghaziabad district. The centrality of technical discourses in the articulation of and response to water quality problems makes it difficult for non-technical perspectives (derived directly from those people who are exposed to pollution) to feed into formal decision-making. This research also identified the key influence of a number of actors (municipal engineers, public health officials and district magistrates) in shaping and implementing policy outcomes on the ground in local contexts (i.e. peri-urban areas), even though their roles are often not recognised formally.\ud \ud The thesis is original in its attempt to merge insights from policy studies and science technology studies (STS) and apply them to the domain of water quality, a field that has not traditionally been subjected to critical social science inquiry. It also unpacks ethnographically the Board’s dual role as both a policy advisor and regulator, and further illustrates how the enactment of these roles can lead to contradictory outcomes on the ground, particularly for the poorest periurban citizens.
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    • 1. Mr. Sinha, chairman of the Board
    • 2. Dr. Patel, additional director of the Board
    • 3. Dr. Joshi, (former) additional director of the Board
    • 4. Dr. Verma, senior laboratory scientist of the Board
    • 5. Dr. Rao, senior chemist and additional director of the Board
    • 1. Dr. Desai, senior scientist and director of PAMS division of the Board
    • 2. Dr. Bhatt, senior scientist, PAMS division of the Board
    • 3. Dr. Modi, senior scientist, PAMS division of the Board
    • 4. Mr. Raj Kumar, environmental engineer, PCI division of the Board
    • 5. Mr. Manoj Tanti, senior environment engineer, PCI division of the Board
    • 6. Mr. Ajay Prasad, environmental engineer, working for IIT in New Delhi
    • 7. Dr. Khamar, retired engineering professor living in New Delhi
    • 8. Mr. Raghavendra, retired pollution scientist living in New Delhi
    • 9. Mr. Lalit Rao, senior climate scientist working for IIT New Delhi
    • 10. Mr. Sunil Mehta, engaged activist and journalist based in Chennai
    • 11. Mr. Leo Saldanha, environmental activist based in Bangalore*
    • 12. Mr. Dunu Roy, director of Hazards Centre, an NGO based in New Delhi**
    • 1. Mr. Jadav, director of the UPPCB regional office
    • 2. Mrs. Roy, scientific officer at the UPPCB regional office
    • 3. Mr. Vivek Nain, assistant engineer at the UPPCB regional office
    • 4. Mr. Surya Joshi, official of the Water Board (Jal Nigam)
    • 5. Mr. Vivek Ramesh, chief engineer for the Ganga Jal water treatment plant
    • 6. Mr. Neeraj Kumar, water engineer of the Water Board (Jal Nigam)
    • 7. Dr. Saraf, chief medical officer of the Ghaziabad Hospital
    • 8. Dr. Shastri, coordinator of the IDSP, Ghaziabad Hospital
    • 9. Miss Riya, IDSP officer of Ghaziabad Hospital
    • 10. Mr. Anand, chief town planner for the Ghaziabad Development Authority
    • 11. Mr. Ajay Kadam, Municipal Commissioner of Ghaziabad
    • 12. Mr. Sen, senior engineer for the Central Groundwater Board
    • 13. Elderly woman resident of Ambedkar Nagar slum settlement
    • 14. Village elder, resident of Ambedkar Nagar slum settlement
    • 15. Farmer and resident of KarKar Model urban village
    • 16. Resident of KarKar Model urbanised village
    • 17. Resident of Nawada urban village
    • 18. Resident of Maharajpur urban village, Sahibabad industrial area
    • 19. Mr. Sushil Raghav, environmental activist based in Ghaziabad*
    • 20. Mr. Venkataraman, resident of Indirapuram, and New Delhi advocate**
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