ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Ramaswamy R Iyer

River Linking Project: A Disquieting Judgment

The recent Supreme Court decision on two writ petitions of 2002 on the inter-linking of rivers is a deeply disquieting judgment because it is not only a clear encroachment into the executive domain, but also shows an inadequate awareness of the extensive debate on the project. The ruling provides strong backing to a "project" that many hold to be fundamentally fl awed and potentially disastrous. This article fi rst deals with the question of judicial overreach and then considers the soundness of the project in terms of the various benefi ts that are claimed on its behalf. It concludes with a plea for an urgent reconsideration of the judgment.

National Water Policy: An Alternative Draft for Consideration

The Ministry of Water Resources is at present engaged in revising the National Water Policy 2002. Instead of trying to make changes in the 2002 Policy, the ministry should put it aside and draft a new policy, starting from first principles. In that context, the draft presented here is an attempt to formulate the kind of document that could be drawn up. It seeks to set forth for consideration a broad national perspective on the nature of water and on its prudent, wise, sustainable, equitable and harmonious use.

Pakistan's Questionable Move on Water

The sharing of the Indus waters stands settled by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, and the nature of the sharing is such that no disputes can arise on this matter. Questions of the conformity of Indian projects to the provisions of the treaty can indeed arise, but the agreement provides institutional mechanisms for dealing with them. By presenting a "non-paper" to India about its concerns on the sharing of river waters, Pakistan is therefore setting out on a dangerous path that could have major implications. It is perhaps inadvertently destroying the one positive element in the relationship between the two countries, and making it impossible for the India-Pakistan relationship to improve in the foreseeable future.