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Narmada Valley Project: Development or Destruction?

Ashish Kothari and Rajiv Bhartari
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 19, No. 22/23 (Jun. 2-9, 1984), pp. 907-909+911-920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4373303
Page Count: 13
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Narmada Valley Project: Development or Destruction?
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Abstract

This report is based on the findings of a team of university students which covered the entire length of the Narmada, largely on foot, in July and August 1983 with a view to studying the likely environmental impact of the massive hydel and irrigation complex and documenting the existing natural and cultural facets of the river. The team's conclusions are at two levels. At one level, there are various problems in the planning and implementation of the project, most of which can be eliminated (at least theoretically) by proper 'management'. But at another level, the question arises whether the project as a whole (even if successfully implemented) and the broad policy behind it, are really 'development' in the true sense of the word or whether they may not lead to a chain of environmentally destructive consequences which could negate all the short-term gains made by the project. The environmental, socio-cultural and economic sanity of the project is clearly questionable.

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