NTAG- JNNURM in Collaboration with (Water & Sanitation Programme, South Asia,
Ms Patel talking in relation to her note on Water & Sanitation Programme’s (WSP)
proposal , that was circulated in advance said that WSP basically wants to work in all the
backward states and small & medium towns. She said the kind of networks that are being
created for CTAG can be used & facilitated to work with WSP in smaller towns and one
can find some synergy in that but if one tries to link it to the 63 cities then there is no
synergy. She said that earlier when PRIA & others had said that they would like to work
in smaller towns & cities, TAG said that it cannot do it because it was not its remit.
Mr.Ramanathan said that can this be an activity that can be done as a triangular
relationship between the WSP-TAG & the NIUA with the WSP financing it. Prof.Mathur
said that Prof.Chetan Vaidya should be O.K. with that. Mr.Ramanathan added that it’s a
little beyond the edge of TAG’s remit but not completely out of it thus it can enable it
though can’t lead it. But if everybody agrees with the idea of a triangular relationship
then one can design something around it.
Ms Patel shared that she had a meeting at NIUA with USAID & DFID and both of them
are working in different states. One of the role of TAG as per her is to create some
synergy between what these bodies are doing. She said that with DFID working in almost
140 towns in West Bengal & 15 towns in Madhya Pradesh, this methodology can be
developed & then they can be involved in rolling it out since they are working on the
same issues, with TAG playing a convening role in this.
Mr.Ramanathan here added that TAG can ask WSP that while taking it up in the
backward states it must take it up in the JnNURM cities of those states. For example
there is no question that one can do a strategy for Chhattisgarh without factoring in
Raipur. Since by any definition Raipur will qualify, especially if one looks at the
infrastructure of this city it definitely isn’t like a big city at all. Concluding his remarks he
said that inclusion of NURM cities in backward states must be done, especially in the
northern states where one needs to cultivate a conversation between the civil
society-administration & the politicians.
Prof Mathur said that the overall climate to work is good in Chhattisgarh, Madhya
Pradesh & Bihar. One will find a lot of synergy in working in similar states which are
backward & governed by the same culture.
At this juncture Prof.Mathur also shared with
others his observations with regards to the World Development Report 2009, which he
said will be focusing on the difference between the leading & the backward regions of the
world. This is the theme that World Bank has picked up he added, he said that their
message is that efficiency must prevail. It also says that World Bank would support
migration on a large scale from backward regions to forward ones.
Prof.Mathur said that
one has to be cautious about dealing with WSP on one particular issue (i.e. are they
carrying the same baggage that the World Bank is trying to project in its 2009 report or
is it for reasons that these states are backward that they should be supported. If it is the
later then TAG should join them but if WSP is carrying the WB agenda with a very strong
normative position that there should be large scale migration then it’s a dangerous
Ms Patel said that based on her interactions with Mr.Sanjay Gupta of WSP she would
write a letter to both Mr.Ramanathan & Prof.Mathur as well as to Mr.Gupta.She
requested Prof.Mathur to take this forward with Ms Cathy of WSP & Mr.Chetan of NIUA
since he knows both of them very well. Just for information sake she shared with both
the TAG members that why WSP is insisting on working in the backward states is
because its donor community that gives it money, insists on them to work only in such