If something that has happened was unforeseen, it was not expected to happen or known about beforehand is
known as unforeseen contingencies. Such contingencies can be resolved with cooperation and participation of all
Following strategy can be applied in this regard:
Principle of distributive justice: as propounded by Aristotle and John Rawls, benefits and burdens must be
shared equally. Local people who might suffer because of the project must also be given the benefit in
terms of electricity and employment. Fishing rights can be given to local ethnic communities as well. This
will avoid any kind of protest or resistance from local communities like what is happening in Naxalite areas.
Principle of Sarvodaya through Antyodaya: Even the most weak and vulnerable person must draw benefit
out of the project either directly as employee in Dam maintenance after skill development or indirectly
through infrastructure development.
Citizen’s Participation in governance process: citizens must be involved in the entire process, from site
selection, social impact assessment, environmental impact assessment and amount of compensation. Effort
shall be made to enhance social capital which will lead to more trust and credibility between government
and citizens. Local leaders must be included in all decisions for greater acceptance and compliance.
Plan on rehabilitation and resettlement: Immanuel Kant has said, “So act as to treat humanity, in every
case as an end withal, never as means only”. There must be proper rehabilitation and resettlement plan to
value human life.
Principle of minimum disruption: of local way of life by minimizing acquisition of private land and
displacement of people. Cultural and religious traditions must be taken care of while building the dam.
Team with high moral and professional standards: Integrity, intrinsic motivation, dedication and spirit of
public service must be in the team working for the project.
Transparency and accountability: all relevant information should be in the public domain for scrutiny and
timely course correction. Local institutions of governance like Gram Sabha and tribal councils can be used
for this purpose.
National biodiversity act preparedness: People’s registry under the act must be prepared to keep record of
flora and fauna in the area for regeneration in case of any catastrophe.
Mass drill and training: to prepare local people to act smartly in the situation of any disaster.
We may not always know the problems ahead but preparedness at all levels will help in coping with the
unforeseen contingencies. Most importantly, compassion must be shown towards the locals as it has the strength
to counter every situation.