Thursday, March 2, 2006

Current Events Log example

Fury Building Up Across India
Arundhati Roy interviewed by Shoma Chaudhuri
ZNet article on ZMag online

This article explores the issues(s) of dam construction in India. New dam construction at Narmada will force thousands to leave their homes, meanwhile old dams aren't providing the benefits they were supposed to, as the needed irrigation canals were never built. A Supreme Court decision has ordered a stop to dam changes, but it ay be too late. The author explores corruption, politics, greed, ecology, and rights in the context of the dam issue. The interview style allows the author to explain how the problem relates with global issues from a number of angles.

Environment Unit -- Development Issues, globalization, ecology, population

I am amazed at how short-sighted the planners seem to be in this part of India to allow the dam projects to destroy villages and mess with ecological balance for the sake of power and irrigation (which never actually materialized). I would like to think that we have a more rational system in Canada but there are plenty of examples of mega-project blunders, mining operations, dams, and developments (many in BC) which have been a disaster for land-users, Aboriginal peoples, ecological stability, and long-term economic viability. The problem in Narmada makes me cynical about government in general, and distrustful of corporate initiatives. For example, will our provincial government accelerate the lifting of key pieces of land from the ALR to allow development? Relevant past experience says yes... we will lose Agricultural land base, wild places will face more pressure, urban-accessable green space will become user-paid and out of the reach of ordinary citizens. I hope the activits in India can prevent a disaster for the people in Narmada.

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