Drinking Water Supply and Formation of Unequal Socio-technological Relations in Rural Southern Bihar
Keywords:Drinking Water Supply, Infrastructure Assemblage; Geography and Technology, Political Ecology, Southern Bihar.
This paper explores the social and spatial implications of drinking water infrastructures in rural southern Bihar. Hardiya, a multi-caste and multi-religion village, has a complex social arrangement. This village consists of original households, households resettled due to dam construction, and households resettled due to excessive fluoride contamination in groundwater. Excessive fluoride produces incidences of fluorosis among households, and historically, households have low access to clean drinking water. In response to the drinking water and public health crisis, multiple state, non-state, and transnational institutions intervened in Hardiya to provide safe technologies and infrastructures for clean drinking water. These twenty years of interventions have brought different technologies, institutions, and actors together to supply drinking water. However, these schemes are functioning inadequately on the ground, and access to clean water remains a big question amidst the development of drinking water infrastructures in Hardiya. This paper explores the dialectical relationship between drinking water infrastructures and social spaces, how both shape each other, through which assemblages, and what it renders. It explores the uneven outcomes of this technological intervention across different socio-spatial groups in Hardiya...
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