This is G o o g l e's cache of
G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.
The page may have changed since that time. Click here for the current page without highlighting.

Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

The Hindu on : 'Dam oustees must savour first fruits of project'

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on
Friday, March 03, 2000

Front Page


* With more entries & search

National | Previous | Next

'Dam oustees must savour first fruits of project'

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, MARCH 2. The need to consider the hopes and aspirations of the displaced persons during construction of dams and a growing recognition that the affected should savour the first fruits of the project that displaced them, were among the issues which came up for discussion at a meeting convened to discuss the draft preliminary report of the case study of India's experience with large dams.

The meet, organised by the World Commission of Dams at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, had participants highlighting a variety of allied issues - that of irrigation, flood control, governance and participatory development, adaptation and power generation and environmental costs of large dams. The participants included the affected, NGO and Government representatives and academics.

The first stakeholders meet is a precursor to a similar one in Delhi on March 3 and has come at the end of the India Country Study, undertaken by Prof. Nirmal Sengupta of the MIDS and Mr.R.Rangachari, formerly with the Central Water Commission, Mr. Ramaswamy R. Iyer, a former Water Secretary; Mr. Pranab Banerji and Mr. Shekhar Singh, both from the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

``All the stakeholders, including the Government and NGOs have agreed to be part of the Commission's deliberations. This is a great step forward,'' said Ms. Medha Patkar, activist and WCD Commissioner. Highlighting one instance in Maharashtra, she said after all the parties in a power project came to the table they realised that transparency and greater understanding were the greatest tools for better social acceptance. ``When we look at a project, it is imperative that we look at the costs and come up with a least costly and implementable system,'' she added. The NGOs have taken a realistic view in many places that she visited as WCD Commissioner, she said.

Mr.Bablu Patwa, an affected person from the Bargi dam site (near Jabalpur), Mr.Vijay Paranjepayee from ECO Net, a Pune- based NGO, Mr.Theodore Bhaskaran, ecologist, representatives from MIDS, Dhan Foundation, a Madurai-based NGO, Matscience, one representing the Maheswar dam affected, were among those who spoke.

One participant felt that since the draft report was made available only in the morning, no worthwhile discussion on the report was possible. Another said that though no one denied the need for power generation, the social costs of the project should be taken into account before proceeding with the implementation of the project. The final object of equity and justice should not be forgotten as this was the ultimate aim of development, he added.

An NGO activist felt that it was necessary to look at the policies of the past and classify if these have been effective at fostering development in the real sense of the term. ``After building thousands of dams we still have serious water crisis. It is imperative that this issue be looked into,'' another environmental activist said.

The recommendations of the Commission were not binding on the countries which cooperated with it, another WCD Commissioner, Mr. Jan Veltrop, said. India was one of the biggest dam builders along with China. Though the discussions centred around social and economic impacts of projects, he pointed out that there was little discussion on the effects of rapidly growing population, he said.

Prof.V.K.Natraj, Director, MIDS, who inaugurated the meet, chaired the session on the review of the preliminary draft case study report. Mr.Larry Haas, team leader, Global Review, WCD, presented the Commission's case studies and the India case study. Prof.C.T.Curien, chairman, MIDS, chaired the open house discussion on the report. Dr.S.Parasuraman, team leader, WCD, outlined the objectives of the meet.

Section  : National
Previous : Meet discusses ways to save tiger
Next     : Alamatti: Maharashtra for determining extent of

Front Page | National | International | Regional | Opinion | Business | Sport | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Classified | Employment | Features |

Index | Home

Copyrights © 2000 The Hindu & Tribeca Internet Initiatives Inc.

Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu & Tribeca Internet Initiatives Inc.

Copyright © 2000 Tribeca Internet Initiatives Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Indiaserver is a trademark of Tribeca Internet Initiatives Inc.