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Letters 
 

Big dams

Apropos the twin articles Does India need big dams? (May 15), Sanjay Sangvai has made several wrong statements to buttress his arguments about big dams being waste of money.

For instance, 0.86 MAF water for domestic supply is not a matter of recent reservation but is what was specifically allocated by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal in its award of 1979. This quantity has to be stretched to more and more villages which are becoming no-source problem villages due to failure of local sources. Similarly, the argument of anti-dam activists that the Sardar Sarovar project consumes 85 per cent of Gujaratís irrigation budget is misconceived because the project is funded not by the Government of Gujarat alone but by the Central and state Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The higher irrigation efficiency adopted for the Sardar Sarovar project is backed by improved technology of canal lining and water distribution by computerised control. The World Bank has certified it as achievable. When do we get out of the mind-set that India can never better its performance? H. J. Dalwadi Anand


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