desirable: in the introduction to the report they say that "dam construction and impoundment of water for irrigation and power generation thus become essential features towards amelioration of the State's (Gujamt's) economy." It is not at all surprising that the study came to the 'conclusion' that the project is environmentally viable.
In 1989, two years after the project was given conditional clearance by the Government of India, the same institution (M.S. University) put forward a proposal for more in-depth studies on various ecological aspects of the SSP, and was given the contract. The bias of the researchers, which influenced the unwarranted conclusion of their 1983 report, slips out in a revealing statement in this proposal: "Now that the project is a reality (i.e. the clearance has been obtained), a dream come true for the state of Gujarat, it is necessary that all the negative impacts pointed out by the group in their short-term report be taken up for more detailed investigations" (MSU 1989) (bracket explanation added).
Even today, there is no comprehensive EIA of the project. A large number of studies have been undertaken and some completed, but the project authorities have never bothered to try to put all the studies together. It is essential that they look at the entire range of impacts, or vital inputs will be lost. For example, waterlogging studies need to be examined by those looking at the spread of disease vectors in the command; downstream studies need to look at run-off studies, and so on. Such a holistic view has never been taken.
Given the lack of any comprehensive EIA, it is worth examining how the SSP obtained conditional environmental clearance, and how it has been allowed to continue with construction despite the effective (and officially acknowledged) lapse of clearance due to clear violations of the conditionalities.