Mallampet village and Peri-urban to Urban Water transfers, India


Mallampet is a small village near the city of Hyderabad in South India, which as a result of rapid expansion of urban spaces has now found itself to be a peri-urban location in the North west of the city. The farmers in this village formerly applied water to their crops from many lakes (cheruvu) in the vicinity. However as industries came up in the neighboring areas, local water bodies such as the Khatua cheruvu and Bowrampet cheruvu now fast dry up and other water bodies also suffered with the excess of industrial pollution. Farmers were forced to install borewells to access groundwater and others abandoned agriculture altogether for jobs in the nearby city. Of those that remained, some land owners instead of farming decided to contract out water from their borewells to illegal private water tanker companies in the city. In a region where areas adjoining the city have already been designated as critical or over-exploited by the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), this extraction of water for urban use has the potential to further exacerbate the local situation.

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Basic Data
NameMallampet village and Peri-urban to Urban Water transfers, India
Provinceformerly Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana)
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Other industries
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsA study of Mallampet by Prakash, Singh and Brouwer documents the scale of this groundwater exploitation. Each borewell was estimated to be used for extraction of between 50,000 to 250,000 litres per day and the total groundwater in the village extracted was estimated at between 600,000 to 700,000 litres per day. This water supplied to urban societies and industries, is about three times the amount of water consumed by the villagers which stands at 243,000 litres or about 50 litres/capita/day (based on sample survey data)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationMore than 2100 (population with access to less than 50 lpcd)
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesMallikarjuna from India - Private water supply via tankers
Naveen Krishna from India - Private water supply via tankers
Relevant government actorsHyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (indirectly involved)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSaciWATERs
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
OtherAppropriation of a common pool resource (groundwater) by powerful landowners and indirectly by the urban middle class
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Negotiated alternative solution
Development of AlternativesThe use of Groundwater in the state is governed by the Andhra Pradesh Water Land and Trees Act (2002) which stipulates that the owners of all groundwater wells must have them registered by the local groundwater authority. The designated officer has the power to shut down wells in an area for a period of 6 months if he deems there to be a threat to the local groundwater resources. Any individual who wishes to install a well close to a public drinking water source (such as the public standposts in Mallampet) must obtain special permission. The authors of this case study argue that the enforcement of the provisions of this law would be enough to secure equity in the village and it must be given due consideration.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Groundwater extraction at high rates still continues and therefore environmental justice cannot be said to have been served.
Sources and Materials

Andhra Pradesh Water Land and Trees Act (2002)
[click to view]


Conflicts around Domestic Water and Sanitation in India- Cases, Issues and Prospects
[click to view]


Blog post on a visit to Mallampet
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorWater Conflict Forum, [email protected]
Last update19/06/2014