The solution to address the tragedy of commons problem is not top down regulation or policing by the state. There are positive examples where community has come together and decided to make social regulations to govern such common resources. The best examples are the groundwater governance practiced in Ralegaon Siddhi , Hiwre Bazar , Pani Panchayat experiments in Maharashtra.
For all this the following are the requirements:
- Awareness and a good understanding of solid and liquid wastes generated.
- Consensus building that this is a social issue and not the issue of the municipality. The citizens have the responsibility to make municipality accountable and we have to think of ways in which the consensus for social regulation can emerge.
- Awareness should transform into deeper behavioral changes, with people actively cooperating together to keep their canals clean.
- Motivate through incentives: What could be the incentives to keep the canal clean.
- Making shopkeepers, company employees on both sides of the canal, partners in the cleaning drive.
- Students act as sanitation warriors, who keep turns to educate the older generation on the need for a pollution free canal that they are going to inherit from the older generation.