Alan Robertson and Jeremy Berkoff
“In India in the early nineteenth century, young British officials in their twenties could find themselves in charge of huge projects. With little or no relevant experience, they had to learn on the job.
Proby Cautley designed and built the Ganges Canal. Over 700 miles long, it remains the biggest construction in the world built without mechanical help – using only man and animal power, wheelbarrows and shovels. In the south of India, his rival and exact contemporary Arthur Cotton built a barrage across the four-mile wide Godavari river, turning its vast delta into productive land.
The achievements of Cautley and Cotton were recognised by knighthoods and public acclaim. But they were completely different in characters and they quarrelled fiercely and publicly. This is their story.”
A review of the book in the Hindu
“This important book addresses two fundamental questions: First, what is the relation, in South Asia, between the development and use of water resources on the one hand, and food security and rural development on the other? Second, which innovative approaches and methodologies can help resolve the deadlock in water resources development and management?
This volume of 17 original essays presents views and experiences on these important questions from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The authors argue strongly for an integrated approach to water resource management which would make it part of the broader agenda of rural transformation. They cite concrete examples to show how a shift away from an exclusive focus on infrastructure development and increased production is possible in practice. All water-related interventions, they recommend, should be made conditional on the inclusion of strategies for sustainable biomass production; resource-rights and asset creation through generating employment (especially for the landless, the land-poor and women); equity in resource access and distribution; and principles of democratic planning and management.”
Contributors: Peter P. Mollinga, C.W.J. Roest, Tushaar Shah, Mahesh Banskota, Suresh R. Chalise, Syed Z. Sadeque, Jayanta Bandyopadhyay, Anjan Datta, M. Youssouf Ali, Upendra Gautam, Rajan Subedi, Kusum Athukorala, Zaigham Habib, Ajaya Dixit, Abid Shah, E.M. Shashidharan, Reema Nanavaty, K.R. Datye, Suhas Paranjape, K.J. Joy, Vijay Paranjpye, Lionel Siriwardena, …