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When nations steal growth from one another… Editor's Says An enemy’s enemy is a friend Modi and the lady Polls and promises Tribute S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Roaring Ro-Ro facility London, London Narayan Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Delhi returns to BJP Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Gay abandon in pricing Sri Lanka votes for change New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… A think tank for Chennai Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Poor quality of university VCs Readers' Mail He continues the focus on social amelioration Auto components surge… Towards speedy justice Medical costs hit the roof... Airlines in India: cost and space The brown list of Venkitaramanan Contrarian cousins Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Welcome GST Come elections, come advertisements... More heat than light When small is no larger beautiful.. Boy, can you beat these? A rich pool of talent not utilised…. 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Plummeting profits of PSBs GNS - 100: our first subscriber Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks When the President was rendered homeless… Mersal magnified Don’t seem to feel the pulse… to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines When Ratan Tata visited SRM Where a state respects its litterateurs… Russi Mody – a tribute Wise Presidents Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Quality education through the PPP mode Return to king coal for urea... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform This scant respect for Law
 
Five star activism stalls development activity

There was understandable criticism on the impact of five star activists on the judiciary mentioned by Prime Minister Modi in a Joint Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers on 15 April. Parties in opposition jumped into the fray and were critical of the Prime Minister casting aspersions on the judiciary. 
I tend to agree with the defence provided by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He pointed to the damage caused by such activism delaying the Sardar Sarovar project in terms of providing water to the beneficiary states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat... and to the huge escalation in costs of the project. 
Jaitley referred to Madhya Pradesh registering over 20 per cent growth pa in agriculture in the last two years and to Gujarat villages receiving water which they never had earlier, thanks to the Sardar Sarovar Project. He mentioned the huge escalation in costs of the project due to agitation by activists and to the population denied benefits for years. 
I had pointed to this earlier. For several years in a row, Gujarat has been registering double digit growth in agriculture thanks to making water available to its 18,000 odd villages and to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan registering similar growth in agriculture. Medha Patkar and other activists, receiving liberal funding from domestic and  international sources, vigorously opposed and delayed the project with the ostensible purpose of protecting the interests of a couple of thousand that would be displaced by the construction of the dam, but harmed the livelihood and interests of a few crore. By all means, the activists can demand suitable relief and rehabilitation of persons to be displaced. But in this they should factor the interests of a larger population designed to benefit from such projects. 
I had pointed to the loss and opportunity costs suffered in causing avoidable delays in completing and commissioning the Koodankulam nuclear power project. In fact, the entire cost of Rs 14,000 crore spent on the project could have been recovered by now through the huge volume of power it would have generated; if only it was enabled to be completed on time and this was stalled at a time when the state was reeling under severe power shortages forcing TANGEDCO to buy power at high cost from private producers and from other states plunging it into humongous debts of over a lakh of crore rupees. 


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