What about the other entitlements?
Why does the government not allocate funds to meet all the rights that are protected under the law? Partly, this is because allocations in the Budget each year are made mechanically, without any thought the need for funds, or the rights that ought to be protected, says Videh Upadhyay.
Public Funds OP-ED

Grinding questions for a grand Authority
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposal for a North East Water Resources Authority to steer development along the Brahmaputra river basin in an integrated manner is both grand and glamorous. But how will the proposed Authority succeed where the Brahmaputra Board failed? This is still unclear, says Videh Upadhyay.
Water Government
Confusing water rights with quotas
A senior advisor with the World Bank is quick to hail the establishment of water entitlements in India, but is it too quick? Merely promising quotas of water on paper, or setting up 'rights' that cannot be enforced, is hardly the same as actually providing water to meet citizens' needs, observes Videh Upadhyay.
Water OP-ED
Ballia shining!
The more things change the more they stay the same. Bored by the hyperbole and premature celebrations of a new India in the metros, Videh Upadhyay travels to eastern UP, and gets a firsthand look at power cuts, the power brokers, and the despair of the majority who are simply powerless.
Save groundwater or ground democracy?
A Kerala panchayat has recently appealed the state High Court's ruling which said that the panchayat's rejection of Coca Cola's application for renewal of license to extract groundwater was untenable in law. Videh Upadhyay drafts some of questions that the Supreme Court may need to settle.
Water OP-ED
Bhakra dam, Supreme Court, questions
In the last two decades, a variety of petitions filed before the Supreme Court over illegalities concerning large dam and irrigation projects have all had a common result. Project proponents have gotten the judicial go-ahead. What is the point of overcrowding laws with more 'enabling' provisions then, asks Videh Upadhyay.
OP-ED Laws
Disaster management: Putting people first
There is plenty of native intelligence among the people that is very useful in averting and responding to disasters. Planning for disaster management must see this as an asset. The top-down planning and implementation currently in vogue is a poor substitute for community participation, says Videh Upadhyay.
Relief OP-ED
Citizen voices, policy choices
It is clear that people across the country are driven by strong environment values. Therefore, without having a policy process that channelises their perceptions and crystallises them in policy statements, it is not possible to sequence and prioritise our environmental problems, says Videh Upadhyay.
Environment opinions OP-ED
Enough of inter-basin politics
The Supreme Court keeps issuing orders on water disputes, but these rarely prevail. Videh Upadhyay urges the Court to seize the opportunity to change that, permanently.
Water OP-ED
Cart before the horse
Videh Upadhyay reviews the predicament of the Interlinking Rivers project.
Bhoodan betrayal in Bihar
The lofty aim of land re-distribution to the poor fell short for a number of reasons, but the most cruel of them is that the state failed to play its role. Videh Upadhyay urges change, even at this late hour.
Beyond the cola wars
At the heart of the current scandal over pesticide-laced soft drinks are haphazard legislation, and a management approach that ignores the people, says Videh Upadhyay.
Water Opinions OP-ED
River links and judicial chinks
At every turn, the Supreme Court has had two options, and always the justices leaned towards the unconvincing one, says Videh Upadhyay.
Opinions OP-ED
India Together offers an excellent forum for people from diverse fields of expertise to present their views, share their experiences and raise questions about where our country and society are headed in the future.
Amitabha Basu
  • Retired Scientist
  • National Physical
  • Laboratory
  • India Together reader