FUTURE OF A DYING RIVER: Bureaucratic Practices and Negotiated Plans of the Yamuna Riverfront


In this essay I analyse the Yamuna riverfront development plan, India’s second-most ambitious riverfront plan after Sabarmati. It constructs a future vision for the Yamuna and aims to integrate it with the city’s economy and popular culture. I explore the logic and mechanisms of this futurity with a specific focus on bureaucratic practices and negotiations between the relevant actors. I argue that the logic of the construction of future scenarios lies in the practices of here and now, which are often overshadowed by the grand promises of the spatial plan. I show how un/doing of the future takes place when this plan of the riverfront is revisited repeatedly within different institutional and communication frameworks.