1st Edition

Understanding Social Sustainability in a Hill Town Water Governance in Shillong

By Bankerlang Kharmylliem Copyright 2025
    184 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    Nestled amidst rolling hills, Shillong, the Himalayan capital city of Meghalaya in India’s northeast, faces a growing challenge of water scarcity. This timely book examines the role of urban and traditional village councils (the Khasi dorbar shnong) in shaping equitable water distribution and management through the lens of social sustainability.

    The book navigates through the complexities of water governance, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities and elucidating the interplay between tradition and modernity in urban governance. It also features narratives of success and struggle, and covers diverse themes, including social capital and gender. It initially foregrounds social sustainability setting the context for the study. It ventures into a detailed examination of the institutions of the village councils, with particular attention to water equity and water governance, including highlighting differences between municipal and non-municipal areas. The volume offers significant theoretical and empirical insights into Shillong's water challenges, filling a gap in the literature on northeast hill towns/cities.

    Part of Transitions in Northeastern India series, this book will be valuable to a diverse audience including students, researchers, policy practitioners, community leaders, and general readers interested in urban studies, sociology, development studies, public administration, Asian studies, sustainability, and those concerned about our urban-water future.

    1. Social Sustainability 2. Water Scenario in North East India 3. Water in the City 4. The Traditional Institutions 5. Water (In)Equity 6. Urban Water Governance and the Village Councils 7. Future Prospects


    Bankerlang Kharmylliem currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Sociology at Shillong Commerce College in Meghalaya, India. Previously, he served as a guest lecturer at the School of Education, North Eastern Hill University, India. He earned his master's degree in development studies and completed his Ph.D., both at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India. His range of interests spans urban sustainability, urban studies, future studies, the sociology of development, and urban sociology.