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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The central problem here

in the case is the villagers resistance to the plan proposed by the Government to build a dam. The chief cause of this resistance is the fact that the reservoir will submerge their villages as well as the Bhavnath temple. The objective of the government here is to ensure the economic development of the state by promoting sound irrigational practices in agriculture. The options are to either go with the original plan or the revised plan or find alternate sources of irrigation. The initial plan seems to be the best bet here.

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MAIN REPORT:
PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION: Among the
protagonists, the Government wants to build earthen dams in the northern part of Gujarat. However according to the initial plan the creation of the reservoir would submerge 8 villages completely, besides submerging parts of 12 other villages. The Governments primary problem is the resistance that it is facing from the villagers in implementing this plan. The governments secondary problem is deciding how to and where to resettle the villagers, in case they agree with the plan.

Among the villagers, the problem facing them is that the dam reservoir will submerge the Bhavnath Temple and their homes/villages.

The central problem here is the fact that the villagers are opposing the construction of the dam.

CAUSES: The villagers have opposed the first plan, which


could lead to submerging of the temple, because they are attached to the Bhavnath temple and the temple is probably something they identify strongly with. Another cause is that the relocation would turn their lives topsy-turvy. The uncertainty

involved includes doubts about the fertility of the land they will relocate to, doubts about their livelihood etc.

CONSEQUENCES: On the positive side, the construction


of the dam could be beneficial. The villages could benefit from the increased availability of water.

On the negative side, the construction could lead to resettlement that could be disastrous.

OBJECTIVE: The Government has an opportunity at hand,


an opportunity to ensure the economic development of the region. They need to find a solution which maximizes the economic development and yet is acceptable to the people. They need to keep in mind the villagers needs, apprehensions, feelings etc.

OPTIONS: 1) The Government could decide to persist with


the original plan, the one with the FSL and HFL of 592 and 596.

2) The Government could decide to persist with the second plan, the one with the FSL and HFL of 595 and 606.

3) The Government could try to look for alternative sources of irrigation.

EVALUATION OF OPTIONS: 1) The pros of this option


are that it can irrigate about 92,000 acres of land, its feasibility when it comes to the cost to be incurred and the benefit to be accrued has been found to be favourable. This plan also includes the possibility of saving the Bhavnath temple, although this would require additional funds. Besides there is also the hint that this arrangement had seemed to satisfy the people.

The cons are that this plan only considers the feasibility on paper and not the ground reality. Moving people from their villages, the ones that their ancestors have habited for long, is not an easy decision. When strong emotions come into play, logic can often take a backseat. Even if the villagers agreed to moving, there is an immense chance that they could be discontented with their new homes, i.e. the social cost of this step could be counterproductive.

2) The pros of this plan are that with the increased capacity of 5700 million cu. Ft., the dam can now irrigate more land and lead to increased revenues.

The cons are that this plan cannot save the Bhavnath temple. Also this plan comes after the Government had agreed to protect the temple and had approved expenditure for the same. As such acceptability for such a plan is bound to be low. The increased size of the reservoir could mean that more people would have to relocate. The suggestion of shifting the deities is also not a practical one because the location of the temple is given importance by people and the spot is considered sacred. From the political angle too, this plan or its implementation could attract the opposition partys negative attention, as well as a weaker vote bank in the next election. Besides, the social cost of moving from familiar to unfamiliar surroundings could prove to be counterproductive.

3) The pros of this option are that this would not require the people to migrate, nor will there be any danger to the temple.

However the cons are that there is a grey area here and we know nothing of the feasibility of the alternatives.

DECISION MAKING: In the light of the situation, option 1


seems to be the best bet. It can accomplish the task of increasing irrigation, without posing any danger to the temple. There is greater likelihood of its acceptance by the villagers.

ACTION PLAN: The Government needs to co-opt the


sarpanchs of the villages by sending its representatives to each village concerned. There needs to be consensus on the need for a dam, and this decision should be reached by convincing the villagers of the benefits that they will accrue. The government should assure the people that adequate measures will be taken to protect the temple. The fact that the reservoir can be used for pisciculture and as a tourist destination should also be highlighted.

Once the people are convinced, the specifics of resettlement should be looked into. The representatives should make sure that the resettlement is done to a place that is at least as good as the previous place, if not better. The specifics of compensation should also be looked into. Once these have been agreed upon, the work on the dam should start as per the plan.

CONTINGENCY PLAN: In case the previous plan does


not work out because of lack of support from the people, the government should be ready with option 3. That is, look for alternative sources of irrigation.

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