Social contract theory suggests that people enter into an unwritten contract with the ruler (government) to be protected and served with the basic necessities of life in exchange for which the peoples acknowledge and recognize the legitimacy of the ruler’s sovereign authority. Be it a monarchy, democracy, or any other form of government, the most fundamental duty of the State is to fulfil its people’s basic needs to lead a life with dignity and protect them against injustice.
Having recently joined CAG, in the capacity of a researcher, I was excited and curious as to the kind of work my job would entail. I wasn’t disappointed. The very first projects I was roped into were about road safety and zero waste cities. Now, being a design major with a background in architecture and urban design I tackled the issue of road safety with verve and set about approaching the issue from a spatial perspective.
During the past decade and half India has been witnessing measures to reform the water sector based on the financial sustainability model put forward by the international institutions based on principles like full cost recovery, rationalisation of water tariffs, privatisation and public private partnerships across urban, rural as well as agricultural sub-sectors. The move is towards privatisation, commercialisation and commodification of water sector.
The floods in Chennai has come as a serious warning from Mother Nature. The issue can be approached from various facets; its causes, consequences, the effect on people and how the city seems to have moved on. But is that it? Do problems come to us just so that we can rediscover our strength, capability and tolerance levels each time? My “tolerance” comes in quotes to highlight the significance of the word today as well as to how intolerance has become a bad term.