The Scial and Ecological Effect of Industrilization

Topics: Rourkela, Orissa, Urban area Pages: 38 (11259 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Contributions to Indian Sociology http://cis.sagepub.com/

The social and ecological effects of industrialisation in a tribal region: The case of the Rourkela Steel Plant Rajkishor Meher Contributions to Indian Sociology 2003 37: 429 DOI: 10.1177/006996670303700302 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cis.sagepub.com/content/37/3/429

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The social and ecological effects of industrialisation in a tribal region: The case of the Rourkela Steel Plant

Rajkishor Meher

Learningfrom the Western experience of economic development, the developing countries of the world, after their liberation from colonial rule in the 1940s and 1950s, pinned their hopes on industry and urbanisation to stimulate accelerated economic growth and the social transformation of backward regions. However, in many cases industrialisation of backward regions has generated unintended social and ecological consequences resulting in the involuntary displacement of human populations, the loss of traditional sustainable livelihoods, the marginalisation of the locals, especially the tribals, and the increasing environmental pollution of the region. As the process of development is usually designed at the top, it mostly serves the social and economic interests of the elite and privileged sections of society at the cost of the poor and downtrodden. The present article analyses the processes of industrialisation and economic development as causal factors in ecological degradation in Rourkela, the site of the India’s first public sector steel plant and a region which, in the past, was predominantly inhabited by indigenous peoples.

Rajkishor

Meher is

at

the Nabakrushna

Choudhury

Centre for

Development Studies,

Bhubaneswar, Orissa, 751 013, India.

Acknowledgements: This article is based on my Ph.D. thesis, ’Industrialisation and the urban social structure: A sociological study of interrelationships between industry, ecology and society in Rourkela’, submitted to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1994, and on a recent survey of the peripheral villages of the Rourkela Steel Plant for a separate study, during September-October 1997. I am thankful to M.N. Panini, my Ph.D. supervisor, N.R. Sheth, Amitabh Kundu, and the editors and anonymous referees of Contributions to Indian sociology for their constructive comments and suggestions on an early version of this article, though they are in no way responsible for any deficiencies or

lacunae.

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430

.

I Introduction

Industrialisation has historically been the royal road to economic development and has been associated with urbanisation both as a cause and as a consequence. Learning from the experience of economic development in the West, the developing countries pinned their hopes on industrialisation and urbanisation to stimulate social and economic development. In labour surplus developing countries, Arthur Lewis’s two sector model consisting of (i) a traditional rural subsistence sector characterised by zero or very low productivity of surplus labour, and (ii) a high productivity modern urban industrial sector into which labour from the subsistence sector is gradually transferred, has been influential in evolving strategies of development (Lewis 1954). One of the proponents of such a development strategy has lauded the...

Citations: http://cis.sagepub.com/content/37/3/429.refs.html
>> Version of Record - Oct 1, 2003 What is This?
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The social and ecological effects of industrialisation in a tribal region: The case of the Rourkela Steel Plant
Downloaded from cis.sagepub.com at NATIONAL UNIV SINGAPORE on February 28, 2012
430
I
Downloaded from cis.sagepub.com at NATIONAL UNIV SINGAPORE on February 28, 2012
Downloaded from cis.sagepub.com at NATIONAL UNIV SINGAPORE on February 28, 2012
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Downloaded from cis.sagepub.com at NATIONAL UNIV SINGAPORE on February 28, 2012
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