Fixing the Pipes

November 29, 2015

I took this picture while roaming around in Baiganwadi with Mr P. This day he was inspecting a particular site where a storm water drainage project had been commissioned. The wooden boards that are seen in this picture, marks the storm water drainage pipe. The metal pipes are the ones carrying drinking water to the different houses within this settlement. As a result of the illegal status of most of the households in this settlement, the state or the bureaucracy cannot legally provide basic services. People have found ways around this certain problem and have subverted the mechanisms of the state by "stealing" water from the legal water lines of the area.

 

The lower level bureaucrats such as Mr P are very well aware of this situation. The men working on the pipes seen in this picture can be deemed to be the intermediaries/ mediators that make this subversion possible. So how do the bureaucrats deal with a situation such as this when these multiple pipelines are going to hinder progress of construction of the storm water drain? Mr P says "What can we do? If we cut these pipelines people will be left without water for days, this is inhumane". These street level bureaucrats choose to overlook these pipes and just continue to work around them, again confirming my suspicions about the multiple realities of the state.  

 

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