Urban water governance: Examining the role of traditional institutions in Shillong, Meghalaya

By Bankerlang Kharmylliem and Ngamjahao Kipgen

This paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional institutions (dorbar shnongs) operating in the urban setting in the context of domestic water distribution in Meghalaya’s capital city of Shillong. The nature of water governance carried out by these institutions is examined to understand their role and contribution to water (in)equity in the city. Based on empirical study, selected localities are undertaken and compared to highlight the role of dorbar shnongs in water governance that are directly and indirectly contributing to water supply. This study focuses on the significance and the role of the local traditional institutions with regards to urban water governance in Shillong.

Keywords: dorbar shnong, traditional institutions, urban water governance, Shillong, social sustainability, water (in)equity

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