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Living Rivers, Dying Rivers: A Quest Through India

  • This book offers a thorough examination of the current state our rivers are in
  • Includes contributions from the best-known practitioners and activists working in the field

By: Ramaswamy R Iyer(Editor)

500 pages, 9 maps

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Aug 2015 | #225135 | ISBN-13: 9780199456222
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £34.99 $45/€38 approx

About this book

Rivers have always been worshipped in India, and yet they are in a deplorable state today. The Ganga, regarded as holy and formally declared as the national river, and the Yamuna, the river of India's capital, are mortally sick. Many other rivers in the country are declining or dying. It is difficult to find living, healthy rivers, and even the few that exist are under threat of decline. Heavy pollution is a major cause of this situation, but there are also other factors, such as excessive abstractions or diversions of waters, and violence to their physical components such as the river-bed, banks, floodplains, and so on. Underlying such abuses is a poor understanding of what constitutes a river.

Living Rivers, Dying Rivers goes into the present condition of several Indian rivers, their various states of decline or health, and the factors that have had an effect on their well-being. It explores also the deeply flawed attitudes and approaches towards rivers and towards the environment in general.

The chapters by diverse authors make a plea for a proper understanding of our rivers in all their complexity, for a healthy relationship with them, and for a radical re-examination of what constitutes true development. This compilation is important as a detailed river-wise account of the situation, and serves as an aid to understanding what has gone wrong (or right in a few cases) and what needs to be done in order to restore our rivers to vibrant health.


List of Abbreviations
List of Tables, Figures, and Boxes

1. The Yamuna: Living or Dying? (Brij Gopal)
2. The Yamuna: An Extreme Case (Manoj Misra)
3. The Ganga: A Lament and a Plea (Rama Rauta)
4. The Ganga: A Trickle of Hope (Vinod Tare and Gautam Roy)
5. The Ganga: Pollution Abatement StrategiesâA Review of GAP and Emerging Institutional Models (N.C. Narayanan)
6. The Indus System: Changing Environment in the Jhelum Basin (Shakil A. Romshoo)
7. The Brahmaputra and Other Rivers of the North-East (Chandan Mahanta and Lalit Saikia)
8. Embanking Rivers: The Bagmati in Bihar (Dinesh Kumar Mishra)
9. The Rivers of West Bengal: Dying, Living (Kalyan Rudra)
10. The Mahanadi: A Great River in Distress (Ranjan Kishor Panda)
11. River as a Feminine Presence: Godavari in Andhra Pradesh (R. Umamaheshwari)
12. In Search of a Living River: A Journey across Tamil Nadu (S. Janakarajan)
13. Between the Living and the Dying: Rivers of Kerala (Latha Anantha)
14. Karnataka: Cauvery in Death Throes (Leo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi S. Rao)
15. Living and Dying Rivers of the Western Ghats (Pandurang Hegde)
16. Endangering a Heritage: Rivers of Maharashtra (Parineeta Dandekar)
17. The Narmada and Other Rivers of Gujarat (Himanshu Thakkar)
18. Caring for Our Rivers: An Overview (Paritosh C. Tyagi)
19. A Law to Protect Rivers (Manoj Misra)
20. What Hydroelectric Projects Do to Rivers (Ravi Chopra)
21. Killing a River: Failure of Regulation (Kelly D. Alley)
22. Towards a More Comprehensive Understanding of Rivers (Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt)

Afterword by Ramaswamy R. Iyer
Annexe to Afterword
Notes on Editor and Contributors

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Ramaswamy R. Iyer is an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

- Brij Gopal
- Manoj Misra
- Rama Rauta
- Vinod Tare and Gautam Roy
- N.C. Narayanan
- Shakil A. Romshoo
- Chandan Mahanta and Lalit Saikia
- Dinesh Kumar Mishra
- Kalyan Rudra
- Ranjan Kishor Panda
- R. Umamaheshwari
- S. Janakarajan
- Latha Anantha
- Leo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi S. Rao
- Pandurang Hegde
- Parineeta Dandekar
- Himanshu Thakkar
- Paritosh C. Tyagi
- Ravi Chopra
- Kelly D. Alley
- Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
- Ramaswamy R. Iyer

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