Saturday, December 5, 2009

Was the Bhakra dam worth it?

Three years of painstaking research has shattered many a myth around the most revered hydropower project in the country. A mere 20 per cent of all cultivable area in Punjab is under the dam's command area. Sudhirendar Sharma reviews the recently released Unravelling Bhakra : Assessing the Temple of Resurgent India.

Though Unravelling Bhakra brings on table several hidden dimensions of the project, it falls short of making a strong case against it. From displacement to rehabilitation and from land degradation to food insecurity, the study tosses up all the issues relevant for such an assessment. Yet, the 300-pages of data-filled text may not trigger a fresh discourse on the future of hydropower projects in the country. The book fails to challenge some of the emerging arguments on the subject....more

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