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Board Considers Sardar Sarovar Review Panel Recommendations

World Bank Board of Executive Directors meet to discuss the Sardar Sarovar projects on India's Narmada River. The Board reviewed the recommendations presented by the Independent Review panel headed by Bradford Morse, and the Bank Management's proposals for next steps to be taken. The Morse Commission was appointed in June 1991 at the recommendation of World Bank President Barber Coinable, and conducted the first independent review of a World Bank project. The Independent Review stated that "performance under these projects has fallen short of what is called for under Bank policies and guidelines and the policies of the Government of India." The initial Bank response by President Lewis Preston was that continued support of the project was warranted, although with a vigorous response and remedial actions to solve the shortcomings of the projects. Management response concentrated on improvements in policies, organization and management, and implementation of resettlement and rehabilitation; tighter linkage between resettlement and rehabilitation and the progress on the construction of the dam; and strengthened environmental planning. (Bank participation in the projects was canceled in 1995.)

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