In India’s sprawling capital city of 19 million, Rama walks 2 km with her toddler and takes two buses on a 90-minute one-way commute every day because autos and metro are too expensive. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s proposal of free transport for women has been criticised for being discriminatory against men, but it can boost women’s participation in education, employment and public life, especially if India’s largest city can improve its last-mile links to the 8-line, 373 km metro network. A PhD researcher on what she gleaned from conversations with women in the city’s service industry.
The formation of a new water ministry by integrating the ministries of water resources, drinking water and sanitation is a “positive step forward” but is “not good enough,” says Mihir Shah, an economist and chairperson of the 2016 committee that recommended water sector reforms. India’s water management is hampered by “hydro-schizophrenia”, he tells IndiaSpend in an interview, adding that this can only be changed if organisations such as the Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board can be merged to make policy cohesive & streamline water governance.