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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
Name of conflict:Mallampet village and Peri-urban to Urban Water transfers, India
State or province:formerly Andhra Pradesh (now in Telangana)
Location of conflict:Mallampet
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 commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A 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
Affected Population:More than 2100 (population with access to less than 50 lpcd)
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:Mallikarjuna from India - Private water supply via tankers
Naveen Krishna from India - Private water supply via tankers
Relevant government actors:Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (indirectly involved)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:SaciWATERs
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Other socio-economic impactsAppropriation of a common pool resource (groundwater) by powerful landowners and indirectly by the urban middle class
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Negotiated alternative solution
Development of alternatives:The 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Groundwater extraction at high rates still continues and therefore environmental justice cannot be said to have been served.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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

Meta information
Contributor:Water Conflict Forum, [email protected]
Last update19/06/2014
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