The Right to Water in Rural India and Drinking Water Policy Reforms

The Right to Water in Rural India and Drinking Water Policy Reforms

in The Human Right to Water: Theory, Practice and Prospects
Edited by Malcolm Langford and Anna F S Russell
Cambridge University Press
2017

The right to water has been recognised in Indian law for two decades, largely predating debates concerning its recognition at the international level. While there is no statute providing the  framework for realising the right, the state has been putting significant resources for decades in attempting to provide water to all in rural areas. The state intervention has been mostly governed by policy instruments that have changed significantly over time. Since the beginning of the century, a major change in policy has led to the state seeking to make users (rights holders) participate (financial terms, decision making) in drinking water supply in rural areas. This chapter analyses the changes that have taken place and identifies gaps that have arisen in terms of aligning the policy framework with the human right to water.