ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Sharachchandra Lele

Decolonising Decentralised Governance

Three decades since the initiation of decentralised governance, and more than a decade since the first community forest resource right was recognised in Maharashtra, forest-dwelling communities still have limited space in decision-making about their forest resources. This article describes three cases from Maharashtra where bureaucratic overreach has impeded emerging forest management by forest dwellers holding community forest resource rights. It reflects on the need for changing the prevalent colonial mindset in the bureaucracy to facilitate genuine decentralised democratic governance.

Challenges in Regulating Water Pollution in India

With rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the problem of water pollution in India has escalated dramatically over the last few decades. The regulatory apparatus, has, however, lagged behind. Major gaps in standard setting, including lack of standards for ambient water quality, poor monitoring and weak enforcement by the pollution control boards are the major proximate causes. Controlling water pollution will require a concerted effort to address these regulatory failures.

 

Forest Governance

The Forest Rights Act provides a much-needed counterweight to state-centric forestry, as it reinstates the rights of forest dwellers in all dimensions of forest governance. However, the multi-stakeholder ecosystem of forests requires a multilayered governance framework in which the regulatory, funding and operational roles are separated and democratised. This will help resolve the prevailing tension and confusion regarding forest governance in the post-FRA era.

Focusing on the Essentials

Welcoming the debate on the assumptions underpinning water resource monitoring in India triggered by the Mihir Shah Committee report, the authors suggest that the proposed National Water Commission should focus on providing integrated data and science to help water managers and policymakers, avoiding getting directly involved in planning or regulation.