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

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Floods in Indian Rivers: Are Dams and Embankments the Solution or the Problem?

While dams and embankments are often touted as interventions for better flood management, they have often been at the root of more severe flood disasters. */

Dirty Flows the Ganga

One of the first announcements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi pertained to cleaning the Ganga. But this is not the first time an attempt has been made to clean the river. River cleaning schemes initiated in 1974, 1985, 1993, 1996 and 2008-09 have been monumental failures. While the Prime Minister's announcement was followed by a lot of rhetoric and initial moves towards the goal were frantic, two years later, there has been little improvement in the state-of-affairs. This article looks at some of the problems that have dogged programmes designed to clean the river and suggests measures to address the pitfalls.

Rebirth of a River

Two almost simultaneous yet dissimilar decisions on the fate of rivers - Australia's decision to release waters to 'restore' the Snowy river and the Indian Supreme Court's judgment on the Sardar Sarovar Project - raises questions once more about notions of 'river planning' and 'harnessing of rivers'. Following environmental concerns about the Snowy's declining flow, a popular agitation that saw a broad-based participation of experts, politicians and even the layman, finally restored to the Snowy much of its previous flow. The judgment will hopefully set a precedent for similar cases, not merely for Australia, but across the world.
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