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October 2 - 16, 2018

Field School:                                                                                                                                   Urban Transformation in Pune

A report by Tanja Ossendorf

After arriving in Pune we met the Indian students from Pune as well as two researchers from Delhi who would be joining us for the next 14 days of work. Over the first 2 days we got introduced to the study area as well as the major problems it was facing. The professors from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune, Delhi University, University of Cologne as well as an urban planner from Pune talked about their field of expertise which was very helpful for us to know what we would be dealing with. The topics of these lectures were on Pune’s Urban Fringe, the differences between urban fringes, peri-urban areas and the term peri-urban interface and the governance difficulties the peri urban regions are facing. After the first input the students from Germany and India were divided into five mixed groups and got assigned their study area. 

The group I was participating in went to Bhugaon in order to find out more about water related issues in this particular village which is located just outside the boundaries of Pune. 

During the field work, we found out that the people living in Bhugaon are facing various issues concerning water availability as well as water accessibility. Depending on the terms in which they rely on water the problems are increasing or decreasing. Some village inhabitants are relying heavily on clean water access as they work in agriculture or own buffalos that have to be baited. Also village inhabitants who work in the industrial or the service sector face problems regarding water. They receive 10-15 minutes of water every day. This water, they can only use for cleaning purposes as it is not safe for drinking. The sources of drinking water are various including bore wells, bottled water or water tankers. The sources have to be diversified as in times of drought the bore wells can run dry or there might be no one to drive to the place where bottled water is sold. Another problem in Bhugaon is the increased building of townships. Those townships are separated housing schemes with their own water supply and own filtration system. With the increased water demand, the level of ground water is decreasing and the bore wells in the village are partly running dry. Another factor to keep in mind are politics as the politicians favour the building of townships and are of the opinion that the water supply in Bhugaon is facing no problems at all.

The field work led to many detailed reports with different issues in each of the examined villages. The water problems were different in each village and every participant in this field work has learned a lot about Pune and the surrounding area.