Unquiet Flows The Bagmati

Jan 25th, 2013 | By | Category: Advocacy, Books, Development and Climate Change, Environment, Government Policies, Information and Communication, Land, Lessons, Pollution, Publication, Research, River, Sanitation, Vulnerability, Waste, Water

book-river-bagmati-bigBook Review by Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma: The resolute perseverance with which Dinesh Kumar Mishra has chronicled major rivers, flowing through the flood plains of Bihar, during past three decades makes one realise if this civil engineer could have been anything but a ‘river biographer’. Meticulous with details, ranging from mythology to hydrology, the narrative weaves people as victims of hydrological madness. Multiple voices and divergent perspectives only testify what Voltaire had long said: ‘The progress of river to the ocean is not as rapid as that of man to error.’ The story of Bagmati is no different!

While the river has preserved its status of a free-flowing drain in Nepal, caging it between embankments has forced the river to roar occasionally in Bihar. Largely unnoticed, the embankments have breached no less than 58 times over last 35 years. Notable aspect of this rather familiar story across major river basins in the sub-continent is that ‘neither have lessons been learnt nor are there any intentions.’ Not surprising, therefore, that the narrative reflects author’s pain and anguish in equal measures.

Mishra’s relentless documentation on rivers may not have gone unnoticed but it has not been able to capture popular imagination as yet. Bereft of detailed prescription, the diagnostic narrative has seemingly remained restricted to researchers and academics. Being critical of structural development along river course and the consequences thereof, his books have remained on the periphery of political discourse on flood plain management. Like his previous biographies, River Bagmati may not be a game changer yet but has essential elements to challenge history.

One may well argue that the world is not at the tipping point for a change in managing our rivers yet. Should that be so, these river biographies have surely been written ahead of their times. However, the time is not far for the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario of (mis)managing the rivers to transform. It is then that wise, witty, patient, persistent and persuasive anthology by Dinesh Kumar Mishra will merit serious consideration….Link

River Bagmati: Bounties Become A Curse
by Dinesh Kumar Mishra
PSI/SANDRP, Dehradun/Delhi
208 pages, Rs.595






Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

Himalayan Nations at Climate Change Conference-CoP21

Over 150 heads of state and government gathered in Paris at the UN climate change conference on Monday, 30 November, the largest group of leaders ever to attend a UN event in a single day. In speech after speech, they provided political leadership and support to reach an ambitious and effective climate change agreement by…

Read more…

Comments are closed.

seo packagespress release submissionsocial bookmarking services