The Resource That Will Determine Our Future, Hindustan Times [Sunday, March 26th, 2017]

The ecologist Jayanta Bandyopadhyay once wrote that water, not oil, was the resource whose availability and quality would determine India’s future. I recalled that remark when reading a report recently submitted to the Government of India, entitled, A 21st Century Institutional Architecture for India’s Water Reforms. Rigorously researched and closely agued, this report displays a [...]

 
 
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  Rediscovering One’s Land, The Telegraph [Saturday, February 4th, 2017]

On the second day of 2017, I drove from the colonial hill station of Coonoor to the great old port city of Kochi. Thus began a month of almost continuous travel, in which I took many flights, but also spent long stretches on the road, seeing the land from up on high and from  the [...]

 
 
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  Looting The Himalaya – And The Himalayans, The Telegraph [Saturday, July 23rd, 2016]

In recent months, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh have been in the news. In both states, elected Governments run by the Congress have been destabilized by the ruling party at the Centre, and then dismissed by complicit Governors. In both states, the Congress was able to get succour from the Courts, although how enduring their now [...]

 
 
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  The Indian Path to Unsustainability, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 9th, 2014]

In her recent book Green Wars, the environmental journalist Bahar Dutt writes: ‘The editor of a leading media house, everytime I pitched a green story, would invariably complain: “Environmentalism is stalling growth; all I am interested in is double-digit growth for this country”’. The idea that environmental protection and economic progress are at odds is [...]

 
 
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  Development or Destruction?, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 24th, 2013]

Thirty years, a group of students from Delhi University went on a long walking tour of the Narmada Valley. The journey was arduous, and it was not undertaken for pleasure. The students wished to study, at first-hand, ‘the possible environmental impact of the massive hydroelectric and irrigation complex planned for the Valley, and to see [...]

 
 
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  The State of My State, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 4th, 2012]

I know that we may be speaking here of a race to the bottom, but I would still like to claim that the political culture of the state where I live, Karnataka, is more degraded than that of any other state of the Union. Consider these three, discrete, events that occurred in a single month, [...]

 
 
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  The Indian Road to Unsustainability, Hindustan Times [Tuesday, July 24th, 2012]

In June 1992, Dr Manmohan Singh, then Finance Minister in the Government of India, delivered the Foundation Day Address of the Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD). He spoke on the topic, ‘Environment and the New Economic Policies’. In his talk, Dr Singh urged ‘objective standards industry-wise for safeguarding the environment, asking industry to [...]

 
 
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  Dams and the Damned, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 16th, 2012]

In September 2010, a large public meeting was held in Guwahati to discuss the impact of large hydroelectric projects in the North-east. In attendance was Jairam Ramesh, then the Minister of Environment and Forests in the Government of India. Ramesh heard that the people of Assam were worried that the hundred and more dams being [...]

 
 
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