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Displacement with State Subterfuge

In the years following independence, mega dams were seen as popular and potent emblems of reconstruction and regeneration of a new nation. In more recent decades, however, the intrepid and often epic struggles of project affected people have not only succeeded in raising grave doubts about the net public benefits of mega dams, they have also led to an incremental, even if grudging and still highly inadequate acknowledgement under public policy and law, of the rights of the affected peoples. But as implementation of these projects bears out, even these few and hard won rights have been substantially denied in practice by state administrations. This article will illustrate this by examining the role of government officials and state agencies and the experience of displacement in Madhya Pradesh�s Indira Sagar Pariyojana.

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