Monday, May 4, 2009

Re: Federalism and Water Resource

Resolving these issues in the interest of people, I admit, is possible as has been pointed out, in an ideal society. But that too would be over simplification as, unfortunately, utopia is rather rare. Had it been that simple, a number of provinces in India wouldn’t have been fighting with each other (it is same in Pakistan, too). Suppose I were to agree that these issues could be resolved in the interest of people in an ideal situation, then one will have to further agree that even it would not have been necessary to raise the demand for federal structure in such a situation as nobody would have been excluded (or felt excluded) from the mainstream of the society and governance. But that is the not the case. Therefore, in my article I have simply pointed out the possibilities of hindrances in the optimal exploitation of water resources under federal structure.

I have perused the chapter on natural resources of NACSS memo and it has recommended apportionment of the right to natural resources between and center and states at various rates. The question that will arise is what is the basis of these percentages and may be deemed arbitrary. Reaching an agreement on these percentages will amount to opening a Pandora’s Box. After arriving at a consensus on these ratios then there will be second generation problems of quantification and monetization of the benefits to share the benefits amongst various provinces (yes, more than one province may be involved in one project) and the center . Moreover, the costs in terms of adverse impacts on the local populace also will have to be quantified which will also result in a lot of arguments. Hence, under a federal structure optimal exploitation water resource will be possible with great difficulty.

1 comment:

Dirgha Raj Prasai said...

Dear Mr.R.S. Shreatha jee !
I extend thanks that you have written the very good & nationalistic article about federalism. I have read your article in Gorkhaparta also. I & Mr. Dirgha Raj Prasai always praise your opinion. I think, you are also reading my article in Dristi weekly.
Thank you
Arjun Gyawali