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

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Missed Opportunity

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“The dam is neither a nuclear establishment nor a polluting  industry. The construction of a dam undoubtedly would  result in the change of environment but it will not be correct to presume that the construction of a large dam like the Sardar Sarovar will result in ecological disaster. India has experience of over 40 years in the construction of dams. The experience does not show that construction of a large dam is not cost effective or leads to ecological or environmental degradation. On the contrary there has been ecological upgradation with the construction of large dams. What is the impact on environment with the construction of a dam is well-known in India...”

In a judgment that has shaken people’s movements here as well as in the rest of the world, the Supreme Court has cleared the construction of the Sardar Sarovar project, reiterating and thus making right a short-handed and hasty decision that was taken 14 years ago. And yet it avers that it has confined itself to the defined role of the judiciary in dealing with matters falling within the jurisdiction of the executive: assuming that the executive acts in the best interests of all people, it is not the role of the judiciary to interfere with public policy. “For any project which is approved after due deliberation the court should refrain from being asked to review the decision just because a petitioner in filing a PIL alleges that such a decision should not have been taken because an opposite view against the undertaking of the project, which view may have been considered by the government, is possible.”

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