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Title: Politics Of Development : Dams, Decision Making and Resistance
Authors: Mandal, Nani Gopal
Keywords: S. Parasuraman
Development - Politics Of
Dams and Development : Significance and Debate - India
Ecology - Autochthones and Development
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Large dams have been the epitome of modernisation and state- driven intervention in the development decades accounting for a signi ficant percentage of public investment in many countries (Parasuraman and Sengupta, 2001). For centuries dams have been used as part of many nations' development strategy. They have played an important role in helping communities, and economies harness water resources for food production, energy generation, flood control, domestic needs (WCD, 2000) and also facilitating or improving navigation (Khagram, 2004). They also emerged as one of the most significant and visible toolsfor water resource management during the 20th century (Bosshard, 2010). However, the advent of large dams became possible with advances in science and technology (Nilsson and Reidy, 2006). The period from the 1930s to the 1970s can be considered as the ‘golden era’ of large dam construction owing to the dramatic increase in their construction (Parasuraman and Sengupta, 2001) and was considered as symbols of modernisation and humanity's ability to control and use nature's resources. In the eyes of many dams were synonymous with development and economic progress (ibid) and were hailed as “one of the world’s wonders", the "temples of modern India", and "the white gold of Switzerland" (Bosshard, 2010). However, the established notions and claims of large dams regarding their provision of clean energy and development are highly disputed. The contestation about large dams is based on apprehension about how they disrupt flow of rivers, displace communities, split social structure, destroys indigenous identity and damage the self- respect and mental psyche of those affected, leading to innumerable and permanent hardship, nevertheless without corresponding benefits (Goldsmith and Hildyard, 1984; McCully, 1996). These problems are especially severe in tribal and remote areas of most developing countries, where the ‘hydraulic mission’ proved to be readily exportable and benefits only certain section(s) of the society (McCully, 1996). Hence, infrastructure projects like large dams and hydropower projects have been contentious during the past few decades, and continuous opposition against them has been growing increasingly (ibid). Therefore, one must understand the idea and the ideology behind the debate and contestation surrounding large dams. The Sikkim government claims that through the implementation of the hydropower projects the region could be developed. However, the implementation of the HEPs means invading into the natural resource base of the Lepcha Community, which has not only sustained them but also has shaped their way of life and culture for several generations. This is all the more serious as the decision to implement these projects are taken without proper consultation with the affected people, who hardly play any role in the decision-making process of these projects but the implication of such projects have a direct bearing on their lives. In the context of the implementation of the hydropower project in Sikkim, it is essential to study the decision- making process of these mega hydro-power projects and the role they play in the development process. It is also critical to look into the impact of this decision making on the Lepchas, the primitive tribe of Sikkim and how they perceive the project given their developmental aspirations and their survival as an indigenous community. The research questions and objectives are exploratory in nature. Therefore, the study has been designed underthe qualitative research paradigm, in which case study method and actor- oriented approach are being used to investigate the research question. The data for analysis were collected through unstructured interviews with key informants, group discussions and participatory observation. Secondary information, such as press briefings, documents and various published and unpublished governmental and non-governmental documents have also been used. The finding shows that hydropower development is one among a range of neo-liberal developmental projects propagated throughout the world with a consistently uncritical approach. Current hydropower development proponents seem to be entirely disconnected from criticisms and concerns over large dams, and blatantly conceals the serious socio-cultural, environmental and political issues with which hydropower development continues to be fraught. Sikkim has experienced remarkable people’s movement, which has effectively challenged the State and surprisingly, this was the first of its kind in the state which took the state by surprise, and the government was forced to negotiate its hydropower policies, though they never publicly acknowledged the same.
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01_Title Page.pdf28.07 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02_Declaration.pdf4.08 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_Certificate.pdf3.9 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_Contents.pdf6.13 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_Abbreviations.pdf4.72 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_Illustrations.pdf5.7 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_Tables.pdf4.98 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_Acknowledgement.pdf13.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_Abstract.pdf8.97 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_Chapter 1.pdf189.86 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_Chapter 2.pdf304.81 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_Chapter 3.pdf327.13 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_Chapter 4.pdf725.05 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
14_Chapter 5.pdf328.68 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
15_Chapter 6.pdf515.51 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
16_Chapter 7.pdf1.41 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
17_Chapter 8.pdf329.3 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
18_Chapter 9.pdf120.55 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
19_Bibliography.pdf101.38 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
20_Appendix.pdf37.97 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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