Nhava & Sheva – Battling For The Environment: Oil, Ports And The Coastline
December 2012: Reviewed by Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia: Shyam Chainani was my friend. He was also one of those who taught me how to fight battles effectively, without in any way getting personal, unpleasant or despondent about friends and compatriots who did not live up to expectation.
When he was alive and finishing his Nhava & Sheva
book, Shyam would call me (and many other trusted friends of his) frequently to ask if a passage was correct, or if it was too harsh, or if it could be improved. Nothing I say can truly encompass the ‘tell all’ nature of this book. Shyam Chainani was a soothsayer and he predicted many of the crises we confront today.
The manuscript covers a very vast canvas that extends way beyond the stated title to include the personal pressures and even threats that environmentalists are inevitably forced to face. It is a virtual lesson in coastal protection and its laws and a treatise on both the Shipping Ministry and such gigantic organisations as the Oil and Natural Gas Commission. I would recommend this book to all those who are fighting environmental battles. The title of the book may give the impression that it only concerns those who are interested in the Nhava-Sheva Port issue, but the truth is that this is a lesson in strategy; it’s an expose of human frailty and of courage in the face of insurmountable odds. All part and parcel of who Shyam Chainani was (Sanctuary Vol. XXXI No. 3, August 2011).
Author: Shyam Chainani
Publisher: Academic Foundation
Soft cover, 258 pages; Price: Rs. 695
First appeared in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXII, No. 6, December, 2012.