ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Cauvery Water Dispute

The long-standing Cauvery River water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka continues to be contentious and has recently led to violent outbursts in both states. The cumulative bitterness and misunderstandings between the people of the two states hide the common needs of farmers and the environment on both sides of the border. These are the issues that need to be urgently addressed even as mechanisms to take the discussion of water-sharing away from politics and politicians, such as the Cauvery Management Board, are put into place.

Ramaswamy R Iyer

Ramaswamy R Iyer was a civil servant but he was constantly posing questions to accepted wisdom on issues relating to water. His body of work and frequent interventions on matters of public policy relating to water came to represent an alternative view that lays stress on efficient use, respect for the environment and finding solutions to water conflicts. Officialdom had no use for him but his imprint on how to think about water will be permanent.

Dialogue Needed on Sardar Sarovar

The following is an Open Letter to Uma Bharti, Minister for Water Resources, Government of India: We the undersigned believe that the recent decision of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam by 16.76 metres (m) taking the height to the designed final...

Are Wells a Potential Threat to Farmers' Well-being?

Since in many states surface water sources have been utilised fully, there has been a massive expansion of groundwater irrigation. With the progressive decline in the water table, farmers have resorted to the competitive deepening of wells. This has resulted in increased costs of well irrigation and in a new inequity among the well-owners and between well-owning and non-well-owning farmers. Similarly, urban water demands have increased tremendously for domestic and industrial purposes. While there has been an ever-increasing demand for water, there has hardly been any effort to develop infrastructure to treat used water. This contributes to the pollution of the existing water stock. Therefore, water resources are under severe threat not only because of the ever-increasing demand and competing demand (from various sectors), but also because of the diminishing quality caused by discharge of untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluents. The main objective of this paper is to show how the degradation of the groundwater resource base through over-extraction and pollution contributes to inequity, conflicts, competition and, above all, to indebtedness and poverty.

From Green Revolution to Rural Industrial Revolution in South India

From Green Revolution to Rural Industrial Revolution in South India Barbara HarrissWhite S Janakarajan The economic reforms of the 1990s have deprioritised the agricultural sector end also diverted attention away from scholarly concerns about agrarian transformation. Some the reform rhetoric can he shown openly to confront the interests of the mass of agricultural producers. This paper describes and summarises the results of research into agrarian development carried nut over two decades in northern Tamil Nadu. Mediocre growth, the stagnation of yields and persistent instability of output are all confirmed. Social differentiation continues apace, accentuated by the relations of environmental plunder surrounding the use of water. To an important extent small-scale producers persist in their dependence upon traders' credit for agricultural and non-agricultural production. While agriculture is mired in a 'green reaction'. de-agrarianisation and rural industrialisation have provided a mass of livelihoods to the lower agricultural castes which constitute the small peasantry and agricultural labour force, resulting in an expansion of household forms of production dependent on commercial finance and on (black) investment capital migrating out of urban areas. These opportunities arc heavily screened by class, caste and gender. Its technological backwardness and its use of children prised front school into the hardly paid household labour force suggest that this rural industrialisation will not be a base from which a classic industrial capitalist labour process will emerge.

In Search of Tanks Some Hidden Facts

Physical and technical factors have received a great deal of attention in discussions of the decline of tank irrigation, while institutional factors which have a direct bearing on the functioning of tank irrigation have been relatively neglected. This is unfortunate especially since technical and institutional factors do not operate in isolation but often interact. This paper attempts to examine the characteristics and functioning of traditional irrigation institutions as they exist today and probe the factors underlying the disintegration of these institutions.
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