February 25, 2005

2005: Comment # 6

Verma and Phansalkar review estimates of future water demand and availability in the NCIWRD report and discuss potential deviations from BAU scenarios...

India Inc. 2050

Potential Deviations from 'Business-As-Usual'

Shilp Verma and Sanjiv Phansalkar

The debate on India's ambitious interlinking project has become polarized. Instead of helping the nation to think, analyze and form a rational viewpoint, it has turned into a shouting match, devoid of scientific analysis.

The proponents insist that thousands of highly qualified engineer-days have been invested in studying the feasibility of the links. But, the analysis is not available in public domain. The opponents argue that the project is a conspiracy to hide the past inefficiencies of the irrigation bureaucracy. And yet, the alternatives proposed by them to India's impending water challenge also seem far from concrete.

This ITP Comment takes a close look at the NCIWRD report, which has repeatedly been cited as the basis for interlinking planning and outlines a framework for 'Water Future' research which will help in raising the level of this important national debate by helping develop a refined, textured and nuanced understanding of 'India's Water Challenge 2050'.

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