Stifled by ‘Vikas’ In the Land of the Moksha: Nagar-Nadi relations in the city of Varanasi

This is the first report from our Nagar Nadi Fellowship Report Series, and explores urban stretches of rivers in and around the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It is written by Raina Ghosh, our Nagar Nadi Fellow – a PhD Research Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She completed her M.A, M.Phil from JNU and is a human Geographer by training. She works on the themes of water-society relations, urban political ecology, while her thesis studies the everyday city-making processes around ‘Ghats’ of River Hooghly in Kolkata. She is passionate about travelling, photography and canvassing stories of spaces and people through words and visuals. She also takes a keen interest in human rights issues and has contributed to LiveWire as well as collaborative research projects with the University of Bristol and CES, Delhi.

To encourage more in-depth data collection and research on upcoming and ongoing riverfront development projects in cities across India, People’s Resource Centre started the Nagar-Nadi Fellowship – which sought to improve the understanding of the current state of urban stretches of rivers in India. Through this research, we hope to initiate more informed discussion on the ongoing and upcoming infrastructural developments on urban rivers and bring attention to more ecological and socially just approaches to better manage the river-city relationship.

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