Report on ‘Sinking Cities’

The uncontrolled and destructive urbanisation has badly impacted the health of all rivers. Large scale damming, the concretisation of river channels, real estate development on the flood plains and dumping of wastewater have altered the very nature of the rivers and has endangered their mere existence. Consequently, there is a losing connection between the city and the rivers which furthers the vilification of rivers for disasters like flash floods. The booklet aims to discuss the kind of urbanisation, primarily centred around infrastructure development that is responsible for the disconnect between cities & rivers and collectively coming up with more ecological solutions in the making of the cities.

The booklet is a small contribution to understanding the destructive urbanisation in the cities and holding them more accountable for their actions.

This booklet is based on the discussions during a webinar organised by the People’s Resource Centre, titled ‘Sinking Cities: River, City and Politics of Water’ to mark the ‘International Day of Action for Rivers’ on March 14, 2021. Various noted academicians, social workers, planners and researchers from Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Patna and Pune, namely Mudita Vidrohi, Mahendra Yadav, Sarang Yadwadkar and Anant Maringanti who shared their in-depth knowledge on issues concerning the rivers.

The webinar was the idea of Nishant, who, along with Rajendra Ravi, helped bring together the unique panel of speakers for the webinar. The webinar and this booklet would not have been possible without the coordination and support provided by them. We also thank Mohini, Avikal, Aakiz and Rahul for their support. Finally, we thank all the participants for their active contribution to the webinar.

This publication is part of our ongoing initiative to disseminate knowledge about the changing river-city relations where it has taken the form of a conflict rather than a harmonious and more ecological relation. We hope the knowledge collected in this booklet will help bring more attention to the death of rivers in the making of the cities and build a larger understanding of the need for more ecological alternatives in the city’s imagination.



People’s Resource Centre

July 24, 2021

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