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

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Wealth and Waste

While instances of resource over-appropriation are in evidence in different settings globally, the error of a narrow tragedy of the commons analysis is to assume an original natural state of open access to resources. In all social forms, humans have created institutions to restrict individual access to resources so that they may be preserved for collective benefit. Tragedies of the commons occur when such collective institutions are undermined and individuals lose the sense that their long-term interests in resource preservation are being assured. The case of Gujarat's fishery presents one such instance where development overlooked local institutions that may have been able to restrict resource over-exploitation by fishers.

Water: Charting a Course for the Future - I

Water has suddenly become a favoured subject for seminars and conferences all over the world. A common trend in most of the discussions is to proceed from projections of demand to supply-side solutions in the form of 'water resource development' projects; estimate the massive investment funds needed; take note of the severe limitations on the availability of financial resources with governments; point to private sector investment as the answer; and stress the need for policy change to facilitate this. In India, consciousness of the importance of the subject led to the appointment of the first National Commission on water, which submitted its report in September 1999. This paper attempts to provide a broad and compendious account of the state of affairs in India as far as water resources are concerned and to chart a course for the future.
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