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

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New ‘Water Management Paradigm’

This article critiques theMihir Shah Committee report and the articles about it in this journal (24 December 2016). It says that although the report has intended to be an attempt at restructuring of water institutions, it has, unfortunately ended just as an exercise in restructuring “water organisations,” and its contents get reduced to a mere “preface” rather than a serious analytical attempt towards a practical approach to institutional restructuring in the water sector.

Land Alienation and Local Communities

Poorly designed compensation policies, inadequate planning, the entry of land sharks and the weak power of rural communities are resulting in a deterioration of the living conditions of those displaced by land alienation from the fringes of cities. Field surveys on the fringes of Hyderabad-Secunderabad, where a vast number of infrastructure projects, special economic zones and institutions are planned, show the adverse impact of involuntary displacement. A major correction of land acquisition and compensatory policies is called for, lest the simmering resentment expresses itself in open conflict.

'Jalayagnam' and Bridging Regional Disparities

Despite huge investments and numerous irrigation projects, Andhra Pradesh continues to face water scarcity, which results in regional disparities and political turmoil. Therefore, the government's irrigation policies should focus on alternatives for strengthening the resource base and enhancing the livelihoods in the fragile resource areas. This approach would provide the much-needed stability to the agriculture sector and minimise agrarian distress in these regions.

Agrarian Crisis: Looking beyond the Debt Trap

The agrarian crisis is pushing farmers into distress and ultimately to suicides. It is argued that the cumulative effect of a number of factors is responsible for the present agrarian crisis. These factors, categorised as technological, ecological, socio-cultural and policy-related, are discussed here.

How Participatory Is Participatory Irrigation Management?

Often lack of political will is identified as the main reason for the tardy progress in irrigation reforms at the state level. Andhra Pradesh, however, has demonstrated the political will by initiating widespread irrigation reforms through legislation. This paper, based on the situation six years after Water Users' Associations came into existence, makes an attempt to provide a comprehensive view on the status and functioning of these associations in the state. It is argued that though substantial amounts of money were spent on the reform process, money was used mainly for improving the ailing irrigation systems rather than strengthening formal institutional structures. Despite the fact that WUAs are promoted as non-political institutions, "elite capture" and political involvement dominate their functioning. More importantly, devolution of powers to WUAs has still not taken place, as most of the important functions like assessment, collection of water charges, sanctioning of works, etc, remain in the hands of the irrigation department.

Collective Action on Water

the locality than to forge upward links to Collective Action on Water The Rule of Water: State Craft, Ecology, and Collective Action in South India by David Mosse; OUP, New Delhi, 2003;

Land Degradation in India

In several regions of India, especially the arid and semi-arid regions, environmental degradation is nearing irreversible levels even as replacement costs continue to rise. Land degradation occurs mainly in the form of water-induced soil erosion, though agrochemical and wind erosion have also made an impact. This paper seeks to measure the extent of damage due to land degradation of various types and their expected trends in the future. Besides examining trends in land-use pattern across states and estimating the extent and costs of degradation, it also explores the linkages between degradation and policy and institutional environment in the context of agro-climatic regional planning.

Irrigation: Development and Reforms

This article examines the allocation and utilisation of funds in the irrigation sector. Although Andhra Pradesh has pioneered large-scale institutional reforms in irrigation management, such as legislation to create water user associations, it is necessary to strengthen and sustain the policy initiatives, including placing a greater focus on demand-side management.

Primary Education: Progress and Constraints

This paper looks at various aspects of education in an effort to pinpoint the reasons for the poor performance of the sector. Though Andhra Pradesh is doing better in school density, size and distribution of habitations, student-teacher ratio, etc, declining allocations for education in successive budgets could undermine these gains. The non-formal system has thus far proved to be ineffective and for the state to achieve genuine literacy, it is the formal sector that needs enhanced investment.

Andhra Pradesh: Evolving Appropriate Watershed Policy

The earlier approach of small-scale watersheds based on traditional village systems managed to halt severe degradation of land and water resources. But this progress has been slow.

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