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

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Evading the Dilemmas

Development and Deprivation in Gujarat: In Honour of Jan Breman edited by Ghanshyam Shah, Mario Rutten and Hein Streefkerk; Sage Publications, New Delhi, Thousand Oaks and London, 2002; pp 345, Rs 580.

Sardar Sarovar Project: Braving the Rising Waters

With continuing work on the project more than 20 villages have been submerged this year and acres of standing crops lost while the new reservoir is filling up. The years of protest by the local people who have yet to be adequately rehabilitated remains unheard.

Resettlement Sites of Narmada Valley Project

This paper analyses survey data from three resettlement sites of the Sardar Sarovar Project, and highlights the drawbacks of an official-led resettlement plan and of excluding the project-affected from the planning process. It also discovers that an experimental 'voluntary resettlement' scheme where the displaced are consulted about their preferences finds enough favour with the latter for it to be considered an alternative approach. From this perspective, it is important to consider a change in policy and attitude towards resettlement connected with all such projects around the world.

Narmada Displacement: Continuing Outrage

After the shock, outrage and the efforts at rehabilitation of the victims of the Gujarat there is a need to raise the old issues of rights, resources, livelihood and development. Among the issues that have been systematically neglected not just in Gujarat but in neighbouring Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh is the inadequate rehabilitation measures of the oustees from the Narmada Project. Also, basic issues of survival and livelihood are inimical to the designs of fundamentalists, Hindu or Muslim.

Repopulating the Landscape

This paper recounts the struggle of the Tadvi and Vassawa ethnic groups of Rajpipla against the creation of the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, that forms part of the Sardar Sarovar Dam but which has received far less attention than the dam project itself. The indigenous populations within the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary who have traditionally had access to its resources now regard its construction as a means of curtailing their right of access to forest resources and for appropriating land previously used by them for cultivation. Their struggle in turn, has involved the reconstruction of their environmental and social history that is an attempt to assert the validity of the local sense of place over more abstract conceptions of space, imposed on them from above. Their oral reconstruction of history, kinship and identity is actually a response to the threat of dislocation, in which a concept of space without people has taken precedence over local interactions with, and interpretations of, the environment.

Relocating the Narmada Judgment

Relocating the Narmada Judgment A Rejoinder VIDEH UPADHYAY The search to locate the Narmada verdict

Ground Realities in Narmada Valley

The communities on the banks of the Narmada soon to be submerged continue to plough their fields which have always provided enough for themselves and their families, knowing full well that the bajra and the dal may never be harvested.

Sardar Sarovar Judgment and Human Rights

The Sardar Sarovar judgment is, in the Supreme Court's own words, fundamentally about the human rights of displaced people. However, rather than providing a full reasoned analysis of the human rights situation, the judgment focuses on the various administrative procedures put in place by the state to deal with the issues arising from the Sardar Sarovar Project. This is rather surprising. Even if we assume that domestic law is underdeveloped with regard to eviction, displacement and rehabilitation, there was substantial guidance from the international level to help the court in reaching a decision.

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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