KJ Joy

Along with protesting against dams, the ACT leaders are leading by example and showing people of Sikkim more constructive ways to live.

Tenzing Lepcha, the lead activist of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), is proud of his work in the last year. “All this was overgrown,” he says pointing at the orderly farm. “I created the fields myself.” He shows us the carefully dug out pond for water storage, the irrigation system, the compost heaps, the neatly staked peas and rows of mustard. It is difficult to recognise him now, my earlier image of him being that of a listless young Tenzing, weak from fasting for months.

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A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

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Hydropower development is creating various types of conflict in Northeast India. How can we contain the unrest due to this spate of dam construction?

Northeast India has been in turmoil over the last two decades or so because of unbridled hydropower development in the region. This article is an effort to understand the extent of hydropower development in the region, the multi-faceted and multi layered conflicts unleashed by this development and also explore ways of engaging with them. It is organised around three broad sections:

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Presentations made at the workshop on "Understanding and resolving water conflicts in the North East India", organised in January 2012.

A workshop on ‘Understanding and resolving water conflicts in the North East India', was organized by Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India (Forum), in collaboration with Aaranyak (Guwahati), Centre for the Environment, IIT (Guwahati), Arghyam (Bangalore), SaciWATERs-CapNet Network (SCaN) and Cap-Net to discuss emerging issues related to water conflicts and their resolution in the region. This workshop was held in Guwahati on January 23-26, 2012. It aimed at presenting concepts and theory related water conflicts as well as issues especially relevant to the North East Region.

Conflict flow chart

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This three day dialogue workshop on 'Mainstreaming river basin planning' held from 9th to 11th August 2011 in New Delhi intended to bring together activists involved in dam movements and other social and environmental movements, civil society groups, experts in water resources management, environment, river basin planning, officials from all the relevant ministries and departments and others concerned. Selected invitees from South Asian countries were also invited for sharing their views on transboundary issues.

Map of the Teesta basin showing the various planned dams

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The India Infrastructure Report (2011) brought out by the Infrastructure Development Finance Company focuses on 'water' and seeks to 'evolve an appropriate policy framework from the perspective of rights, entitlements, and conflict resolution mechanisms'. The report aims to answer the following questions:

  • How clear is the strategic vision for water resource management and sustainable development?
  • How effective and equitable is the legal framework?
  • Given that only the supply-side approach will not help in meeting future demand, what legal, regulatory, institutional, and pricing mechanisms will be necessary to efficiently manage and restrain demand?
This information-rich report has data on various topics such as water resources in India (present and projections), irrigation, groundwater, rainfall, urbanization, water institutions, water infrastructure(urban and rural), water economics, and waste water.

India Infrastructure Report 2011 cover page

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This is a very modest first attempt by the Forum to spatially locate the important conflicts around water in India with the help of Google maps.

We are beginning this effort with the conflicts that we have already documented by the Forum. You could also contribute to this effort by sending in abstracts of conflict cases that you know. Send a write up of 250 words containing details like the location, conflicting parties, nature of the conflict and contact details of important contacts related to this conflict to Shruti Vispute at waterconflictforum@gmail.com.

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The growing conflicts over water sharing between states in India

Babhali Barrage

This paper published in the Economic and Political Weekly highlights the recently growing conflicts over water sharing between states in India and argues that the intensity and periodicity of these conflicts are increasing and that these conflicts are expected to get worse with the increasing uncertainty of rainfall and water availability. The document goes on to describe the latest one in the news, the conflict between Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh over the Babhli barrage.

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