Politics and technology of sharing the Ganges
This thesis is a study of the international conflict over the sharing of the waters of the River Ganges: its origins, conduct and consequences. In Part I the proximate cause of the conflict - the Farakka Barrage Project - is investigated; some uncertainties about the project's technical rationale and misrepresentations about support for the project are investigated. A history of the political dispute which accompanied the construction and operation of the barrage is presented in Part II. Periods when the conflict might have been resolved are identified and examined and the governmental strategies underlying the events are inferred. An assessment is made, in Part III, of the physical consequences for Bangladesh of operation of the Farakka Barrage during the dry seasons of 1976 and 1977« It is concluded that Bangladesh suffered serious economic disruption as a result of the reduced flows in the River Ganges. Part IV is an analysis of the major engineering projects which India and Bangladesh have proposed as means of increasing the dry season flow in the Ganges, and, therefore, removing the conflict of interest at the centre of the dispute. The analysis shows that the projects are not simply technical responses to the water shortage but they embody wider political objectives of the two nations. A comparison, in Part V, with water disputes elsewhere casts an unfavourable light on India's conduct of this conflict.