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The Politics of Water Resource Development in India

The Politics of Water Resource Development in India
The Case of Narmada

First Edition
  • John R Wood - Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

284 pages | SAGE India
This book is about the politics of water resource development and management in India, with special reference to the Narmada river waters dispute. The author draws on a wealth of studies on Narmada as also his own research to analyse the controversy from the perspective of a political scientist.

The author analyses three aspects of the conflict over developing the waters of the Narmada:

- The politics of the inter-state river water dispute over Narmada waters in the context of Indian centre-state and inter-state relationships and the constitutional and legal mechanisms for resolving disputes among riparian states.
- The Narmada upstream-downstream politics implicit in the battle between downstream Gujarat and Rajasthan versus upstream Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The much-publicized struggle between those for and others against the construction of the gigantic Sardar Sarovar dam.

Given the highly contentious nature of these struggles, the author objectively highlights how and why the outcomes of such struggles have largely depended on the realities of power.
Introduction: Wading In
The Politics of Water
India's Water Resources, Major Water Conflicts and Water Policy Development
Narmada: The Beginnings of the Dispute
The Tribunal Goes to Work: The Politics of Inter-State River Water Dispute Resolution
Opposition to Sardar Sarovar: The Rise of Human Rights and Environmental Protectionism
'Step Back and Consider Afresh': The World Bank Independent Review
The Supreme Court Decides: The Judiciary, the Polity and the Resolution of the Narmada Dispute
Alternatives and Complements to Sardar Sarovar: The Paradigm Shift in Indian Water Resource Management
Conclusion: Understanding Water Resource Development Politics in India
References and Select Bibliography
Alternatives and Complements to Sardar Sarovar

An academic work, well researched and exhaustive in regard to every legal nuance of the dispute.

Development Alternatives

Wood’s study develops the Narmada case from historical legal and political perspectives to suggest conditions for conflict resolution. The key point in the book is the essential political nature of the process of resolution.

Business Standard

John R. Wood

John R. Wood is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver. He taught Comparative Politics with a special focus on India at UBC for 36 years and was Founder/Director of its Centre for India and South Asia Research. Throughout his career, he was involved with the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) which promotes academic exchange and research collaboration between India and Canada. He served as the Resident Director at SICI’s India Office (New Delhi) between 1973–75, 1989–90 and 2004–06. He was the author of The Politics of Water Resources Development in India—The Narmada... More About Author

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