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Re-placing home: Displacement and resettlement in India's Narmada Valley Dam Project

Mookerjee, Kuheli; (2003) Re-placing home: Displacement and resettlement in India's Narmada Valley Dam Project. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis concerns resettlement following displacement by large-scale development projects. Development-induced displacements now exceed those resulting from conflict situations and natural disasters. The displaced population usually suffers various forms of impoverishment including homelessness and social disarticulation. This thesis seeks to contribute to strategies for mitigating these negative impacts by improving resettlement policies. The thesis asks what we can learn about resettlement and rehabilitation by assessing their impact on the home and its meaning to those facing displacement. The concept of 'home' can be usefully employed as an analytical tool to evaluate the success of resettlement. This approach addresses a gap in the literature informing resettlement policy and in particular the literature on the controversial Narmada Valley Dam Project, India. It examines the resettlement of Bhil tribal people following the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. The primary data source for the thesis is the experience of the oustees recounted in their own words. Over 50 in-depth interviews and household economic appraisals as well as 103 household and 147 individual surveys were conducted at two resettlement sites (vasahats). The research portrays a population entering a mainstream modem culture, moving from subsistence to a market economy. The study addressed the notion of home as dwelling and as the site of production / consumption and relations with family and friends. The thesis investigates the changing domestic economy and oustees' ability to feel 'at home' in their new environment. Moving beyond the purely economic, it examines both material and moral aspects of home as housing, as the site for daily life and as the locus of community social relations. 'Modern', market-oriented values colour all these understanding of home, such that the home has become a measure of the changes oustees are experiencing for better or for worse.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Re-placing home: Displacement and resettlement in India's Narmada Valley Dam Project
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Displacement
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100773
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