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

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Response to the ‘Practitioner’s Perspective’

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The letter to the editor, “Practitioner’s Perspective on the JSA” by Eshwer Kale et al (EPW, 20 July 2019), was a response to our article, “Can Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan Prevent Drought in Maharashtra?” (EPW, 22 June 2019). We would like to clarify some of the issues highlighted in their letter. According to Kale et al, the issue is with the implementation and not with the overall conceptualisation and design of the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan (JSA), and so the solution lies in getting the implementation right. Since the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), the organisation to which the authors of the letter belong, has been involved in the conceptualisation of the JSA besides undertaking an initial evaluation and, as mentioned by them, has also helped government departments in some locations to plan it, they have an inside view that is enriching, but not necessarily independent.

Unlike what the authors of the letter say, the core argument of our article is that the problems plaguing the JSA are more to do with the conceptualisation and design of the programme, and not just with implementation, and that quick-fix solutions like the JSA cannot drought-proof Maharashtra. Even Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, an ardent advocate of the JSA, has realised this. Probably, that is why he has now started talking about creating a water grid in Marathwada by linking all dams in the region to tackle recurrent drought.

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Updated On : 16th Aug, 2019

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