Land insecurity and barriers to the realisation of the fundamental right to water and sanitation : the tale of two slums in Delhi
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In the wake of its independence, India has witnessed a tremendous growth in its urban population. Some of the challenges that came along with this rapid urbanisation are still to be addressed in the world’s largest democracy. The sprawling growth of slums indeed outpaced the process of urbanisation itself, and these sub-standard human settlements are still very much a feature of Indian megacities today. To apprehend the complex reality of slums, a starting point is to grasp the dynamics of land insecurity in those areas. Further understanding the interplay between this land insecurity and accessibility to basic urban services, such as water and sanitation, can then prove a very fruitful exercise as both are constitutive elements of the notion of a “slum” and the relationship between them has rarely been thoroughly explored. In this sense, the focal point of this thesis research is to explore the possible linkage between land-related issues and the level of realization of the human rights to water and sanitation. As an interesting illustration of the unequal coverage of basic water and sanitation amenities at the expense of the most vulnerable fringe of the urban society, the Indian capital of Delhi will constitute our case study.