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virtually ensured that environmental issues will be relegated to the background, the imperatives of construction bulldozing their way past any logic and rationality.

A critical analysis of the benefits claimed for the SSP ( Ram 1993) has revealed that the SSP has no comprehensive plan for drinking water supply, that it is likely to irrigate less than half the 1.9 million hectares claimed, and that firm power output from the SSP will be only a fraction of the installed capacity. Taken together with the analysis of environmental impacts of the SSP carried out in this study, the viability and desirability of the project itself must be questioned.

Even at this stage, we can only conclude that the SSP must be halted until a comprehensive EIA is available, and until this EIA is tied in to other basic studies (including social impact, financial viability, and alternatives). Only such a process can determine whether this project is worth pouring more money into, whether some essential design changes can help make it viable, or whether some genuinely effective and less damaging alternatives can be found to solve the water crisis of Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat.

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