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A continuous struggle between ‘power’ and the people

In yet another contested environmental approval decision, a 300-MW power plant in Gujarat has been granted changes in technology, relaxing certain original conditions, without any public consultation. Kanchi Kohli reports on the grievances of the local people.

Energy Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

Defining, celebrating and protecting our rivers
India Rivers Week held in November 2014 was a first-of-its-kind gathering in New Delhi, which celebrated rivers and those trying to protect them, while charting out a road map to mitigate the threats they confront. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports on the proceedings.
Environmental Hazards Environment Government

Hydropower in the land of Gross National Happiness
The immense untapped potential of hydropower generation in Bhutan has led to several major projects in the offing, with varying degrees of Indian involvement. However, Shripad Dharmadhikary finds a steady rise in voices questioning their impact on the Himalayan environment.
Energy Trade Environment

If the Ganga is so hot, can the Yamuna be far behind?
With the thrust on rejuvenation of the Ganga by the Narendra Modi-led government, rivers in India have become the focus of attention from several international players. Manoj Misra points out how this may explain some recent statements from the government's partner in Yamuna restoration, the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Environment Government Opinions

Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision
A Consortium of 7 IITs is working on a plan that will form the basis for the long-term vision for the government’s much-talked about Ganga rejuvenation programme. Shripad Dharmadhikary reviews an initial summary released by the Consortium as the framework within which the final plan will be drawn up.
Environment Government

Do we really need Gujarat’s Sabarmati model?
When river restoration translates merely into cosmetic beautification of its ‘front’, real estate and urban elite are the only ones to gain at the cost of the larger river ecology. Amruta Pradhan discusses the Sabarmati Riverfront Development project and others inspired by it to highlight the risks in the model.
Public Funds Urban Environment

Reviving the Ganga, at the cost of its ecology!
The Rs 6300-crore plans for development of the Ganga waterway from Allahabad to Haldia should be undertaken only after meticulous examination of its impact on various elements of river ecology. Debadityo Sinha explains why.
Bio Diversity Environmental Hazards Environment

Breaking the myth behind Coastal Thermal Power Plants
It is often believed that coal-based power plants near the coast, by virtue of their proximity to the sea, do not create any pressure on water resources. Shripad Dharmadhikary’s visit to Krishnapattanam in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu exposes the fallacy in that.
Energy Environment ANDHRA

When a tsunami is manufactured
In view of the alleged corruption in rehabilitation of dam-affected families, the Jabalpur HC has imposed a stay on the decision to raise the height of the Narmada dam further. Recalling the history of the project till date, Himanshu Upadhyaya asks why a higher dam should be considered at all.
Government Displacement GUJARAT Human Rights

Why large dams aren't a water solution for the future
The uncertainty of the nature and extent of climate change impact on the water sector calls for adaptive and flexible measures to effectively combat and address the issues likely to arise in the future. Shripad Dharmadhikary quotes from a recent report of an IPCC Working Group to establish the fact.
Climate Environment

Mullaperiyar: Is the light in the tunnel itself?
With the SC striking down the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act, concerns over the Mullaperiyar Dam could create tension anew between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Could a new study contain a potential solution to the issue? P N Venugopal explores.

When a river is reduced to an adjective
The labelling of Arvind Kejriwal as ‘anti-Narmada’ by political cadres in Gujarat is only in keeping with a long-standing culture of discouraging any dialogue on the river itself and gagging dissent at large, says Himanshu Upadhyaya.
Government OP-ED GUJARAT

Lessons from the "other" Indo-Pak conflict
The award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kishenganga hydroelectric project has several dimensions that could hold important lessons for settling water disputes within the country, says Shripad Dharmadhikary.
Government J & K

Travelling afar for solutions nearby
Powerful forces get water for power
Villages devoured by rising waters
MP town seeks to reclaim its right to water
'Maha' problems over minor irrigation
River basin management: Missing the boat
NaMo Narmada: Who gains?
National Water Law needed, but not this!
Why women in this village can't cook dal
Kerala loses its precious Kenis
A village with 60 millionaires!
Bhama Askhed Dam: Just another pawn
In support of a paradigm shift in water
The strange case of India's missing dams
Cauvery: Preferring politics to solutions
White Paper, or whitewash?
One state, but divergent demands
Shallow understanding of deep risks
Better, but needs more work
Going awry with the flow
Pushing to privatise
Back-pedaling the market mantra
Lessons from Chile's Water Code
Grand plans for the Ganga
Warding off the water woes
Greening the smaller towns
The Protocol of vested interests
Recognising the human right to water
Grid-free, on the horizon
How an ex-lecturer turned around the land
The bills we pay, and the ones we don't
The colour of water
End of Plachimada battle. Or is it?
How they pulled their farm back from the brink
Meandering an important course
First in RWH, but not self-reliant yet
Where Suvarna Jala fails, schools leap ahead
In Palakkad, ‘rain pond’ to the rescue
The wrecking sand dunes of upper Assam
Environment Report, 2009
The right to water: long road ahead
Drowning Himachalis, pampering Delhi
The empire flows again
Stagnant waters: Party manifestos offer little
World Water Forums: Time to end them
The unique water tunnel of Sheni
Incredible Medepally: so clean and green
Water privatisation: Start again
Water sector reforms: Time for a new model
Blessed by water
Bit by bit, he filled his well
Water is no pipe dream here
An uneven, but important journey
This bank deposits rain and draws water
High growth: In deep waters
'Relief' irrigation increasing worries for farmers
Inaction on panel findings against beverage major
A two-in-one well
Shedding the borewell dependency
Living under constant threat of eviction
College saves lakhs of rupees on water
That 'new type' house
Percolating young minds
A stream resumes year-round flow
Upper catchment, gains in the plains
Here a breach, there a breach
Fresh water scarcity demands fresh ideas
Rural water supply: The Hebballi experience
Some simple trenches
People's school for water literacy
Privatisation turns murkier in K East ward
Centre absent from water projects
A flawed model for water regulation
Going home with more than theerth
'Water deposit' revives open wells
Hope in the season of hopelessness
A fair price for water
Wells for the well-being
Water meters help consumers, suppliers
Development disconnected from research
He grew a forest only to harvest water
Wake up call on reservoir siltation nationwide
Soft-pedalling the cola ban
Grinding questions for a grand Authority
Unreasoned push for large storage projects
Well worth the change
Hydro-power guidelines flawed
Farmers' win in court boosts morale
Thirst for profit
The root of the solution
In the dam's waters they trust
Don't dig down
Will herders be heard?
Kerala: rain-blessed and short of water
Sponge bath future
Selling piped water or pipe dreams?
Coca Cola moving out of Plachimada?
Low-cost, these dams are lifelines
Dissent at home, as abroad, for Colas
Harvesting success in a troubled region
Paddling hard against the flow
A prescription that suits the doctor!
Top to bottom, water and soil
Confusing water rights with quotas
Rivers and plans off course
Faithfully harvesting the rain
Haryali: Not so green after all
Drought-proofed by traditional wisdom
Plenty on the roof
Water - heartening signs
Media campaign brings hope to desert
Water procession brings mindset change
1000 year-old tradition keeps them together
Save groundwater or ground democracy?
Advertising mirages to mask reality
Mining away the river
Mixed results for municipal water reforms
IIM Kozhikode runs on rainwater
Was the Bhakra dam worth it?
Rain or no rain, water for Coke
President Kalam, please listen
Chennai sucking up rural water
Karnataka inches forward in water harvesting
Researching turbulent waters
Rain barrels catalyse water harvesting
Reviving rural water bodies top-down
Once upon a Sankranti
Rajasthan's water sharing woes escalate
Slow progress towards sanitation
Rejuvenation of a hill range
Less water, more pumps
Local water: battle of scales
An election-year scarcity
Leaky rural water supplies
An eco-friendly Ganesh Utsav
Dying tanks, dwindling water
Water : the hidden export
Back to the good old ways
Water - a national conversation
Enough of inter-basin politics
Rural water, people first
Unseen waters
Saving water to feed the billions
Cauvery delta : a new reality
Kalpsar: a lake of wishes?
Unchecked pollution on the Periyar
Diverting a river, west to east
More substance, less fizz
Piloting water
Selling a watery euphoria
Rooted in paddy
Piped dreams
Water: the privatization debate
Interlinking? No, thanks
Linking lives, not rivers
Ending municipal water shortages
Stopping virtual water trade
Different state, same story
Beyond the cola wars
Networked ponds transform drylands
Managing water, staying afloat
Still looking to the skies
Tehri Dam - Verdict Awaited
The grey in Haryali
Interlinking rivers : Epitaph for the displaced
The ties that bind and grow
Interlinking: Needs to be publicly debated - III
Urban Water: Judicial recipes falling short
Interlinking: Salvation or folly?
Interlinking: Salvation or folly? - II

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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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