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

Suhas ParanjapeSubscribe to Suhas Paranjape

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...

Beyond the Rhetoric of Integrated Water Resources Management: The Case of the Tungabhadra Sub-basin

Although Integrated Water Resources Management, as a concept, has gained currency in the global discourse on water, it does not seem to have made much headway in the Indian context. The paper examines the case of Tungabhadra sub-basin in south India and finds that it has made little progress in practical terms with regard to intra- and inter-sectoral allocation of water. The concept of iwrm in Tungabhadra is relatively new and water management has been performed mainly at the state level. As a result, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have their own set of different water governance regimes - water policies, laws and legislations, institutions and practices - with relatively little interaction between them.

Babhli Water Conflict: Less Water, More Politics

Water sharing disputes between states are growing, the latest in the news being the conflict between Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh over the Babhli barrage. It puts the spotlight on underlying issues like the lack of an efficient mediating mechanism for conflict resolution both within government and the civil society at all levels. The problem is that of evolving shared modalities of dealing with and sharing water surpluses and shortfalls. This is an aspect that the water disputes tribunals provide no guidelines on because they see water only in terms of legal property to be apportioned. There is also no mechanism to ensure equitable water allocation within a state. In fact, areas within Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are caught in bitter conflicts, much sharper and much larger in scope than Babhli.

K R Datye: Visionary of a Sustainable and Equitable Future

K R Datye, a civil engineer by profession, worked for more than half a century on ideas for the water, energy and infrastructure sectors, ideas that were based on a vision for India of a sustainable, equitable and a democratic agro-industrial society. A critical appraisal of KRD's work on his first death anniversary.

An Alternative Energy Plan for the Konkan

The proposal to generate nearly 20,000 megawatts of power by building new power plants on a narrow strip of the Konkan coast is a recipe for an ecological and social disaster. The government should learn from the past experience of such coal-based power plants, reassess the true demands for energy and encourage ecologically sustainable planning, which will also benefit the local people. Such alternatives are already available and have been demonstrated to be workable but is the government listening?

Issues in Restructuring

There is a need to reiterate the interconnectedness of the biophysical, socio-economic, and institutional aspects of watershed development from within a larger conceptual and normative framework for natural resource-based sustainable development.

Dams and Displacement: Alternative Restructuring of the Sardar Sarovar

The Sardar Sarovar Project has been the focus of a long drawn-out conflict between the Gujarat government and experts, on the one hand, and anti-big dam activists, on the other. This is a revisiting of the principles behind an alternative that was articulated 10 years ago, but is still relevant today.

'Million Revolts' in the Making

Water conflicts in India have now percolated to every level. They are aggravated by the relative paucity of frameworks, policies and mechanisms to govern use of water resources. This collection of articles, part of a larger compendium, is an attempt to offer analyses of different aspects of water conflicts that plague India today. These conflicts, scale and nature, range over contending uses for water, issues of ensuring equity and allocation, water quality, problems of sand mining, dams and the displacement they bring in their wake, trans-border conflicts, problems associated with privatisation as well as the various micro-level conflicts currently raging across the country. Effective conflict resolution calls for a consensual, multi-stakeholder effort from the grassroots upwards.
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