Urban Development
Following the World Bank model, urbanization reflects prosperity as an integral part of economic growth. But the fact remains that India has witnessed increasing impoverishment in rural areas and unplanned development in cities, leading to urban crisis in Indian metros.

All of us have rightly been concerned with urban crisis and so is the claim of the World Bank, which has been investing 4,000 crore rupees annually in urban development related projects. World Bank has rightly identified the problems faced by urban areas be it lack of affordable housing or poor governance; shortage of basic services like water and sanitation, degraded environment or crumbling infrastructure. But the strategies it proposes to address the same are fundamentally flawed. We can think of this as a doctor that is good in diagnosis of symptoms but bad in prescriptions.

As per the Country Assistance Strategy of the Bank, it sees its role in providing analytical and advisory activities and investment lending in order to make urban local bodies financially viable. World Bank is itself prepared for long term partnerships subject to continuing demand and progress on reforms as well as commitment to the same. The Bank is of the view that its ability to deal directly with ULBs is limited and the role of state governments in "wholesaling" Bank's support for reforms is critical. Thus, it is proposed that the Bank's engagement in the urban sector should privilege those states where both the state and Urban Local Bodies are reform oriented. Thus it is not a surprise that the portfolio investments are selectively in the few states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat etc.

Rising Tide Drowns Most: Urban Development World Bank Style!
JNNURM - A World Bank "Program" with Government "Ownership"?


Arvin Kejriwal -Delhi Water Privatization
Amit Bhaduri - Response to the World Bank
Madhura Swaminathan - World Bank and Food Security


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