Beyond Relocation: The Imperative of Sustainable Resettlement


Edited by: Renu Modi

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Policy, Theory and Benefit-Sharing in Resettlement

    Part II: India: Losing the Struggle with Resettlement's Challenges

    Part III: International Experiences

  • Copyright

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    Dedicated to my father-in-law Late Shri Bishwanath with all my love

    List of Tables and Boxes

    • 1.1 China: Increase in Land Compensation Standards: 1953–2004 46
    • 5.1 Resettlement of Bhakra Dam Oustees 134
    • 7.1 Landlessness: Extent of Loss of Land in the Six Affected Villages at Kevadia (in acre) 190
    • 9.1 Rehabilitation Package to be Given to Potential Affected Families of Pagladia Dam 226
    • 10.1 Resettlement Sites/Villages Chosen—At a Glance 243
    • 10.2 Types of Families across Castes of Respondents 245
    • 10.3 Response on Intensity of Impact due to Acquisition of CPRs in the Village-ratings 249
    • 10.4 Number of Women Engaged in Various Occupations: Before versus after Displacement 250
    • 10.5 Response on Intensity of Impact on Culture due to Acquisition of Shrines and Trees in the Village-ratings 260
    • 14.1 Types of Losses Eligible for Compensation under Donors' Policy and LAO of the GoB 333
    • 14.2 A Typical Compensation Package and Potential Beneficiaries of Resettlement Plan 337
    • 14.3 Land Acquisition and Number of PAPs in Different Projects 341
    • 14.4 Level of Socio-economic Status (in percentage) of PAPs after Relocation by Project and the Year of Completion of the Resettlement Activities 345
    • 14.5 Parameters Adopted for the Measurement of Improvement in Livelihood (data in percentage) 347
    • 1.1 A Ministry for Resettlement 11
    • 1.2 Under-financing Subverts Resettlers' Livelihood and Overall Project Performance 16
    • 10.1 Case 1—From Landlords to the Landless: Case of Khandiaguda Resettlement Village of Upper Indravati Project 247
    • 10.2 Case 2—Increased Burden on Women: A Case of Panasduka Resettlement Village, Upper Indravati Project 251
    • 10.3 Case 3—Economic Empowerment of Displaced Women: Initiatives in Pujariguda Resettlement Village, Badanala Project 252
    • 10.4 Case 4—Migration and HIV+: A Case of Camp No. 4, Upper Kolab Project 261
    • 10.5 Case 5—Insensitive R&R Prgorammes: A Case of Camp No. 4, Upper Kolab Project 263

    List of Abbreviations

    ABEFAll Bodo Employees Federation
    ABSUAll Bodo Students' Union
    ACHPRAfrican Commission on Human Rights and People's Rights
    ADBAsian Development Bank
    AfDBAfrican Development Bank
    AJKAzad Jammu and Kashmir
    ANMsAuxiliary Nurses and Mid-wives
    AOVAnnual Output Value
    APAndhra Pradesh
    ARSUAll Rabha Students'Union
    BBMBBhakra Beas Management Board
    BBPBhairab Bridge Project
    BDABangalore Development Authority
    BGSBangladesh Geographical Society
    BJPBharatiya Janata Party
    BPLBelow Poverty Line
    BRACBangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
    BTCBodoland Territorial Council
    BUPCBhumi Ucched Pratirodhi Committee
    CAFsCanal-affected Families
    CBACost-Benefit Analysis
    CBDConvention on the Biological Diversity
    CBECommercial and Business Enterprises
    CBRCost-Benefit Ratio
    CCDBChristian Commission for Development of
    CCDDCitizens' Concern for Dams and Development
    CCLCash Compensation under Law
    CDHRCentre for Development and Human Rights
    CDPCity Development Projects
    CIDC3Consolidation of the Institutional Development Component
    CIDCOCity and Industrial Development Corporation
    CILCoal India Limited
    CISPComitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei pepoli (International Committee for the Development of People)
    COHRECentre on Housing Rights and Evictions
    CPI(M)Communist Party of India (Marxist)
    CPRsCommon Property Resources
    CRRIDCentre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development
    CSSCentre for Social Studies
    DCDeputy Commissioner
    DEPZDevelopment of Export Processing Zones
    DFDRDevelopment-forced Displacement and Resettlement
    DFIDDepartment for International Development
    DIDRDevelopment-induced Displacement and Resettlement
    DIDsDevelopment-induced Displacees
    DPRDetailed Project Report
    DPsDisplaced Persons
    DRDADistrict Rural Development Agency
    EBRDEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development
    EFAPErosion and Flood Affected Persons
    EIAEnvironmental Impact Assessment
    EMAPEnvironment Management Action Plan
    ENPATEquity, Non-discrimination, Participation, Accountability and Transparency
    EPIDOREtablissement Public Interdepartemental de la Dordogne
    EPRDFEthiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
    EUEuropean Union
    FCFAFranc de la Coopération Financière d'Afrique Centrale
    FGDsFocus Group Discussions
    FRLFull Reservoir Level
    GATSGeneral Agreement on Trade in Services
    GDPGross Domestic Product
    GEMGenerators of Economic Momentum
    GNPGross National Product
    GoBGovernment of Bangladesh
    GoGGovernment of Gujarat
    GoIGovernment of India
    GoMPGovernment of Madhya Pradesh
    GoOGovernment of Orissa
    GPCLGujarat Power Corporation Ltd
    GVDCGwembe Valley Development Company
    HALHindustan Aeronautics Limited
    HCGHouse Construction Grant
    HRDHuman Resource Development
    HYVHigh Yield Variety
    IASCPInternational Association for the Study of Common Property
    IASPInternational Association for the Study of Population
    ICCInternational Criminal Court
    ICCPRInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    ICDSIntegrated Child Development Scheme
    ICESCRInternational Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
    IDBInter-American Development Bank
    IDMCInternal Displacement and Monitoring Centre
    IDPsInternally Displaced Persons
    IDSInstitute of Development Studies
    IDSMTIntegrated Development of Small and Medium Towns
    IGNOUIndira Gandhi National Open University
    IIEDInternational Institute for Environment and Development
    IITIndian Institute of Technology
    INTACHIndian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
    IRRImpoverishment Risks and Reconstruction
    ISEDInstitute for Social and Economic Development
    IWGIAInternational Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
    J&KJammu and Kashmir
    JBARPJamuna Bridge Access Road Project
    JBRAPJamuna Bridge Road Access Project
    JBRLPJamuna Bridge Railway Link Project
    JICAJapan International Cooperation Agency
    JKLFJammu and Kashmir Liberation Front
    JMBAJamuna Multipurpose Bridge Authority
    JMBPJamuna Multipurpose Bridge Project
    JNPTJawaharlal Nehru Port Trust
    JNURMJawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
    KANAKashmir Affairs and Northern Areas
    KCKevadia Colony
    LALand Acquisition
    LAALand Acquisition Act
    LALLand Administration Law
    LAOLand Acquisition Ordinance
    LoCLine of Control
    M.P.Madhya Pradesh
    MAFMillion Acre Feet
    MARVMaximum Allowable Replacement Value
    MAWMinimum Agricultural Wages
    MEMiddle English
    MIDCMaharashtra Industrial Development Corporation
    MMSEZMaha Mumbai Special Economic Zone
    MoEFsMinistry of Environment and Forests
    MoUMemorandum of Understanding
    MoWRMinistry of Water Resource Development
    MoRDMinistry of Rural Development
    MSWMaster of Arts in Social Work
    MVMarket Value
    NACNational Advisory Council
    NADNaval Armament Depot
    NALCONational Aluminium Company Limited
    NBANarmada Bachao Andolan
    NCANarmada Control Authority
    NCRNational Capital Region
    NDANational Democratic Alliance
    NEEPCONorth-Eastern Electric Power Corporation
    NESRCNorth-Eastern Social Research Centre
    NGOsNon-governmental Organisations
    NHNational Highway
    NHPCNational Hydro-power Corporation
    NMCNarmada Main Canal
    NOCNo Objection Certificate
    NPRRNational Policy on Resettlement and Rehabilitation
    NRCRNational Research Centre for Resettlement
    NRPNational Rehabilitation Policy
    NTPCNational Thermal Power Corporation
    NWDTANarmada Waters Disputes Tribunal Award
    OECDOrganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
    OECFOverseas Economic Cooperation Fund
    OEDOperations Evaluation Department
    OPDSCOrissa Professional Development Service Consultant
    OSDOccupation Skill Development
    OSGOversight Group
    PAFsProject-affected Families
    PAHsProject-affected Households
    PAPsProject-affected Persons
    PBPPakshy Bridge Project
    PDProject Director
    PICPrior Informed Consent
    PMOPrime Minister's Office
    PPPPublic-Private Partnership
    PPRPrivate Property Rights
    R&RResettlement and Rehabilitation
    RAPResettlement Action Plan
    RCsResettlement Centres
    RHDRoads and Highways Department
    RPResettlement Plan
    RRCRelief and Rehabilitation Commission
    RRMPRegional Road Management Project
    RSResettlement Sites
    RTDRight to Development
    RUResettlement Unit
    RVReplacement Value
    SADCSouthern Africa Development Community
    SANDRPSouth Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
    SAPSocial Action Plan
    SARSSevere Acute Respiratory Syndrome
    SDStamp Duty
    SEZSpecial Economic Zone
    SHGsSelf-help Groups
    SIASocial Impact Assessment
    SKILSea King Infrastructure Ltd
    SPARCSociety for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres
    SRNDPSouth–West Road Network Development Project
    SRPSpecial Rehabilitation Package
    SSDSardar Sarovar Dam
    SSNNLSardar Sarovar Nagar Nigam Limited
    SSPSardar Sarovar Project
    SSPASardar Sarovar Purnarvasahat Agency
    STDsSexually Transmitted Diseases
    SVHEPSilent Valley Hydro-electric Project
    TATechnical Assistance
    TBPTana-Beles Project
    TGTransfer Grant
    TGDThree Gorges Dam
    TGPCCThree Gorges Project Construction Committee
    TISSTata Institute of Social Sciences
    UDHRUnited Nations Declaration of Human Rights
    UNUnited Nations
    UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme
    UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    UNHCRUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    UPAUnited Progressive Alliance
    WAPDAWater and Power Development Authority
    WBWorld Bank
    WCDWorld Commission on Dams
    WCSWorld Conservation Society
    WISCOMPWomen in Security, Conflict Management and Peace
    WSPWater and Sanitation Programme
    WWFWorld Wildlife Fund
    XIMXavier Institute of Management
    XISRXavier Institute of Social Research


    This volume is a collection of research papers submitted by like-minded researchers on the subject of development, displacement and resettlement from a comparative perspective. I am extremely grateful to my co-authors for their valuable contributions. The finalisation of this volume has taken much longer than anticipated and I would like to express my gratitude to all my colleagues for their patience and unstinted support extended during this period.

    I am particularly indebted to Dr Michael M. Cernea for his guidance from the very outset. He graciously accepted to write the lead chapter for the book, despite his numerous engagements, as none of the chapters had dealt with the contemporary and significant aspect of reforming resettlement through benefit-sharing. He has been a constant source of encouragement and helped me in immeasurable ways in the preparation of this manuscript.

    Preliminary versions of a few papers were presented at a seminar on the subject, held at Hyderabad in end 2004. I acknowledge with thanks, the efforts of all my colleagues at the Department of Political Science, University of Osmania and their collaborating partners towards the organisation and co-sponsorship of this workshop. I am extremely grateful to the Japan Foundation, New Delhi, for the travel grant provided for participants from South Asia.

    This endeavour was immensely strengthened by the assistance and help that I received from several academics and institutions. Literature for the updation of this book was accessed in the Jawaharlal Nehru Library, University of Mumbai and the World Bank Library, Washington. The help extended by the library staff at these two libraries is acknowledged with gratitude. I wish to thank in particular my senior colleagues, Dr Christopher McDowell, Dr Chris de Wet and Dr Walter Fernandes, for their advice in the initial stages of conceptualising the thematic note for this work. Special thanks are due to Dr Chris de Wet and Dr Ned Bertz for reviewing successive drafts of the manuscript. I am grateful to Dr Chaloka Beyani for his valuable time and critical support, mainly towards the closure of this arduous but rewarding assignment.

    I am extremely grateful to Professor Imtiaz Ahmad, my teacher, who gave me time, guidance and support at various stages of preparation of this text. Beena Nair and Leela Solomon assisted me on the editorial work of this volume. To both of them, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. I wish to acknowledge that I benefitted immensely from the encouragement and support given by Dr Kamini Krishna and colleagues at the University of Mumbai.

    I am personally beholden to my husband Anand and my three girls Yamini, Ankita and little Saloni for always being there. Many thanks are due to my sisters Rekha and Ranjana and to Nama Bhua. I also concede with warm remembrance the contribution made by my supervisor, teacher and sharpest critique, the late Professor Anirudha Das Gupta. To Ma and Bauji, I remain indebted for teaching me the value of perseverance.

    Once again many thanks to the contributors for the trust they reposed in me despite my numerous shortcomings. Finally my thanks are due to the editorial team at SAGE publications, New Delhi for adding value to this manuscript.


    Introduction: Displacement and Resettlement—The Global and the Local Context


    This volume invites the reader to a journey through some narratives of development projects in India and elsewhere. These are projects that have displaced people forcibly to gain the ‘right of way’ for major infrastructural construction, and in the process, have dramatically affected and changed the lives of many people. Unfortunately, in more cases than we can count, these changes in the ‘affected peoples’ lives were not for the better. The ‘stories’ reported in this volume are genuine and factual, based on empirical research and analysis.

    The book's co-authors are scholars and researchers from different countries. The case studies they wrote for this book will take the reader to several continents—first to India itself, but also to other Asian countries such as China, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as to Africa, particularly to Ethiopia, Zambia and central Africa, and even to Europe, in France. In addition, the book's theoretical chapters rely on statistics from many other countries, since development-caused displacement is now a universal phenomenon. Facts alone, however, are not sufficient without analysis and conceptualisation. Therefore, in dealing with the empirical material, the present volume promotes a comparative approach and employs analytical models for interpreting its data.

    The organisation of book is structured along three distinct thematic parts. The first addresses theoretical issues in development-induced displacement and resettlement (henceforth DIDR). The second part is devoted to a group of studies on India. The third section of the volume brings research testimonies from many other countries, mainly in Asia and Africa. The contributors and the editor have worked together to provide the reader, not simply with a compilation of studies but with an integrated set of contributions which commonly share some fundamental ideas.

    The magnitude of forced displacement is huge. It also is growing. Our contributors emphasise both the worldwide dimensions of development-caused displacement and the need for comparative approaches for studying their similarities and differences in deriving theoretical generalisations. As Michael M. Cernea's chapter emphasises:

    [W]orldwide, about 15 million people are displaced every year by development induced displacement. Moreover, significant displacements are expanding in various economic sectors and enable an in-depth comparison between the unfolding of development-forced displacement and resettlement (DFDR) processes in different countries. Such comparisons are important for research and also for policy and pragmatic operational reasons. For research, comparing experiences in different countries and distilling what is general as well as what is different, can result in better theory about the nature and characteristics of DFDR processes.

    The contributors highlight the fact that experiences of displacement and resettlement are comparable across countries regardless of their location.

    Precisely because our volume offers the reader primary data in a comparative perspective, it becomes possible to starkly reveal the single most important feature underlying population displacement caused by development projects: this feature is the constant presence of ‘impoverishment risks’, and the loss of assets, incomes and livelihoods, including impacts on cultural heritage and identity. The volume also inquires into the reconstruction and survival strategies of those displaced from a gendered perspective.

    The authors of individual chapters in this book come from different social disciplines but, collectively and individually, they take a pluri-disciplinary perspective, seeking to draw on concepts and arguments relevant to Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) that come from various disciplines. The chapters do not compel closure through a dominant framework from any discipline. The queries raised are numerous, varied and interlinked. This collective research endeavour seeks to explore various facets of internal displacement and the impacts of mega developmental projects (dams, roads, parks) on the lives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) because of development or conservation. This also explores people's coping strategies, the transformatory potential of sound resettlement with reconstruction, land tenure, social relations and access to infrastructure. What is compelling is the resulting overall narrative, relying on a documentation that includes, but is not limited to, the personal narratives of those displaced.

    The authors have sought to find and describe results that indicate good practices and enhance the understanding of the consequences of adequate or inadequate relocation in a comparative perspective. Some of the research chapters (for example, on the Bhakra Nangal, Kariba, Sardar Sarovar Project, this volume) add to the surveys undertaken so far on those cases. Others highlight how the political economies of growth in various parts of the world have often resulted in inequality and conflict between those displaced and the state (see Bharali, Sharma, Shekhawat, Padovani, Faure, this volume).

    State-led displacement, with its pauperisation and violations of IDPs' human rights, have been a dominant theme of academic research during the prior and current decades, that is increasingly reorienting itself towards the economic premises and consequences of forced displacement. Several contributors have relied in their work on the theoretical framework formulated by Michael M. Cernea: the ‘Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction (IRR) Model’, which has been widely embraced and employed by research in India and elsewhere. Scholars have used this model in order to understand the multidimensional processes that set in the post-displacement phase and invariably result in landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalisation, food insecurity, increased morbidity and mortality, loss of access to common property resources and community disarticulation. ‘Impoverishment is a syncretic and multidimensional process. The model first deconstructs it into its eight fundamental components listed above. Reconstruction then is a reversal of the impoverishment and can be understood and accomplished along the same variables, considered in a holistic, integrated way’ (see Cernea and McDowell 2000: 11–55).

    Answers are sought within the aforementioned IRR framework in various chapters in the book (see Dias, Faure, Khatun, Velath, Modi, Ravindran and Mahapatra, this volume). This research argues that despite growing awareness about social justice (due to the concerted efforts of mainly civil society movements and the adoption of R&R policies at the national and international levels), the distributional and gender impacts of development projects are not laudable. It argues that policy statements alone may not be a sufficient condition for alleviating the sufferings of those displaced and women in particular, as evident from the case studies from India and other parts of the world that are detailed in this book.

    The book's second part has six field-based studies on various aspects of involuntary displacement in India. The book has an Indian bias for three specifc reasons: first, the book was drafted in India; second, the editor and several contributors, most of whom are Indian, are conversant with displacement issues in the Indian context; and finally, the debates and contestations on the subject are extremely vibrant in India. To a large extent, this is due to the exponential increase of development and displacement in India, as a result of the liberalisation policy, multiplication of infrastructural and extractive projects, and of increased investments by transnational corporations. Millions of displaced persons have become impoverished.

    India also is the country of much active civil society protests against forced displacements and impoverishment, mobilised by multiple civil society organisations. Forcible acquisition of land and the violent resistance, most notably against the special economic zones (SEZs), has stirred up intense debates engaging strata of the population that are not themselves affected by such displacements, but get involved in resistance from a human rights perspective.

    Data meticulously compiled by a group of Indian researchers who gathered information on a state-by-state basis show that of the vast majority of India's over 60 million oustees, about three quarters have not been rehabilitated and became worse off after displacement (see Fernandes, this volume).

    This is a dramatic statistic. It shows how much pain has been inflicted on thousands of project-affected households, and how much ruin and destitution development projects have caused for scores of millions. These projects should have uplifted poor people from their chronic state of poverty, and enabled them to gain access to a better livelihood, as development discourses claim. In practice, however, the foundation of these people's existence has been dismantled, and those responsible for this state of affairs sidestepped their economic, political and ethical responsibility to at least reconstruct the social, economic and cultural lives of those relocated.

    India's civil society and primarily the project-affected persons are unanimous in thinking and stating that a major villain responsible for disastrous development in India is the archaic Land Acquisition Act (LAA) of 1894. This law, drafted under colonial conditions, remains on the statue books in today's post-independence jurisprudence, despite the alternation over time in the national government of virtually all major political parties. Even more, the destructive effects of this outdated law have been worsened by the amendment made to it in 1984. At that time, the government's power of ‘eminent domain’, the legal doctrine used by the state for the compulsory expropriation under the excuse of ‘national interest’, was in fact expanded instead of being restrained by democratic considerations regarding people's civil and economic rights. That unfortunate amendment extended the eminent domain principle beyond the limits put on it even by its framers.1 It gave authority to state agencies to use the sword of eminent domain to cut access to farming lands, pastures, trees, and so on from their small owners, and to hand over these lands to private sector corporations for their projects geared solely towards profiteering.

    Based on this extension that distorts the eminent domain principle, the pace of land acquisition and concomitant displacement has increased manifold. However, dispossessing people of their agricultural lands, homesteads and other immobile assets is unacceptable. It is less and less tolerated by the public at large. Our volume argues that the eminent domain principle should not be regarded as holy and intangible, or as an unmovable principle. On the contrary, philosophers, legal specialists and social scientists increasingly argue that this principle is not justified in law or in ethics (see Velath, this volume).

    The militant demonstrations against development projects are not a new phenomenon in the country, particularly after the developments in the Narmada valley in the 1990s which have changed the DIDR scene. The anti-dam struggles of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) against the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in Gujarat brought the issue of forced relocation into the public realm and raised awareness on the subject. The reactions to the blatant violation of the basic human rights of those displaced, mainly the right to livelihood, access to common property resources (CPRs) and the right to habitat, have become more audible and violent in the recent past. The potential victims of state-led displacements for infrastructure projects (see Bharali, this volume) and SEZs are no longer mute spectators. The loud protests have resulted in serious rethinking on the subject of development and displacement and on the rights of the victims of development. However, what is of concern is that those dislodged lack adequate protection under the national and international laws.

    Since 2006, the recent protest movements against SEZs in India have stirred a nationwide debate on the rights of displaced persons. These indicate that counter-trends are at work and getting stronger. For the past few decades, social activists have been trying to impress upon decision-makers that it is the government's fundamental duty to properly resettle and rehabilitate the displaced population. The state has been compelled to acknowledge that there are three players in the process of development: the state, the developer and the displaced/to-be displaced. There is now at least an acknowledgement by the state, albeit reluctantly, that development-induced displacees are stakeholders in the development process. But this recognition in discourse is not matched by actions in law, in resource and in benefits sharing. The oustees indeed are stakeholders entitled to a better share and improvement in welfare, and should be recognised as such in practice, not in discourse alone.

    On 9 January 2007, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that a national rehabilitation policy was on the anvil and that would be ‘progressive, humane and conducive to the long term welfare of all the stakeholders’.2 He added, ‘Industrial development is not a zero sum game. It can be a win-win process for all the sections of society’.3 On 31 October of that year, the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (NRRP), formulated earlier, was finally notified and gazetted by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). However, this policy failed to address the critical issue: forcible acquisition of land through the ‘eminent domain’ of the state and the resulting landlessness and impoverishment. The civil society activists also logically pointed out that an R&R policy, applicable in the entire country, should have been in place prior to the SEZ Act of 2005 that entails colossal displacement.

    Civil society activists have acknowledged that the formulation of the long pending national R&R policy is a positive step but have forewarned the government about its shortcomings. In fact, the people's movement has firmly opposed the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill and the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, which were presented to the Parliament by the MoRD for approval in December 2007. The Land Acquisition Act, a colonial legacy, is being amended to include the private and corporate acquisition of land into the category of ‘public purpose’! Further, the amendments do not provide for a participatory approach but allow land to be acquired without the consent of the local Gram Sabhas and Ward Sabhas. It also includes an emergency clause that would allow property to be acquired within 48 hours! Based on the above-stated objections, the civil society organisations have demanded that the Land Acquisition Act be repealed. The R&R Bill of 2007 has been criticised and considered inadequate since it does not guarantee ‘land for land’ or an alternative livelihood that will maintain, if not improve, their living standards at the pre-displacement level.

    There is a general consensus among the non-state actors that any R&R policy which has the potential of rebuilding the lives of those affected can be assessed in terms of five critical parameters. These are (i) has the policy genuinely considered a change in design of the project so that the least amount of displacement could occur? (ii) is the definition of the project-affected persons (PAPs) category comprehensive enough to cover all the types of displaced persons? (iii) is the rehabilitation package enough to provide a livelihood at the pre-project level? (iv) is the process of decision making participatory (that is, engaging the stakeholders) and does it allow the aggrieved party a fair judicial process to demand an adequate recompense? (v) and is the R&R policy binding on the project-implementing authorities and justiciable? These parameters call for an R&R policy based on human rights and enhancing livelihood.

    The common theme that underlines all the chapters in this compendium is that DIDR inevitably results in the violation of human rights. The approach towards its remedy should incorporate both the assessment of ‘risks’ and the ‘recognition of rights’. Intensive field studies reflect the economic impacts and the multi-dimensional impoverishment caused among those uprooted. The findings in the research papers validate the general thesis spelt out by the conceptual apparatus of the IRR model. They conclude that the loss of commons, forests and rivers, which were an integral part of the lives of indigenous families, had an adverse impact on the reconstruction of livelihoods. As in the case of Sardar Sarovar, Bhakra Dam, Kariba and the Three Gorges, relocation to some of the resettlement sites with poor quality land (that is, water logged, lacking access to water, and so on) as well as the forced survival of the tribal populace in a market-based economy, has led to the spiraling downward of livelihood standards.

    Though the bulk of the reportage in the volume focuses on the downside of displacement and relocation, it also tries to explore the strategies for the ‘reconstruction’ aspect of the IRR model. To illustrate, extended families and rehabilitation of extended kin networks on contiguous plots has prevented impoverishment at the Sardar Sarovar resettlement sites (see Modi, this volume). Yet another example of the restorative aspect of the IRR framework is the provisions for annual payments of 600 yuan (US$ 75) per farmer displaced as a result of hydroprojects between 1949 and 2006 in China. The annual payments over the next two decades—from 2006 to 2026—will enable these people to rebuild their livelihoods. In addition, research-based chapters in this compendium demonstrate the shortcomings and draw lessons on the implementation of infrastructural development projects. They reinforce the concept that high quality empirical data is essential for avoiding poor R&R planning. They argue that adequate mitigation measures built into project planning, ‘benefit sharing’ and good policies complemented with satisfactory implementation can reverse the ‘impoverishment risks’ and help restore incomes and rebuild social lives, after displacement (see Cernea, this volume).

    Set against the above background, the volume's chapters are grouped in three main parts. The contributors—policy-makers, practitioners and civil society activists who have worked on this subject for decades have been able to generate original data from their field experiences and contribute to this volume. The chapters are cross-referenced to enable the reader to know about the comparable cases in the book.

    The third and final part of the book is devoted to international experiences on displacement and resettlement, mainly in Asia and Africa. Although the studies are located far apart in terms of the temporal and spatial contexts, what is significant is the fact that there are striking commonalities in the states' procedures and practices on development and displacement. The result of uprootedness worldwide is also invariably the degeneration of the socio-economic standards of those affected. Yet another concurrence in all the countries under review is the predominance of the principle of the ‘eminent domain’ and (except China) the lack of appropriate national laws and policies that could lead to an improved DIDR and thereby restore the incomes, social and cultural capitals of those displaced.

    In the developing world, mainly in Asia and Africa, there is an unstated assumption that the outcome of displacement and the lack of a rights-based approach to R&R is mainly due to a paucity of funds. But the retroactive case study on France is an eye-opener for researchers on the subject, as the impact of displacement and the consequent effects of dislocation in France are no different from that in developing countries.

    The studies undertaken in this book have heuristic value, for project planning, funding and implementing bodies, researchers and academics studying development-led displacement in view of the fact that there are numerous infrastructural projects underway in various parts of the world currently which are grappling with several unresolved social issues in the discourse on development and dislodgement. To look beyond relocation is the imperative of sustainable resettlement.

    More detailed introductory remarks to each of the book's studies are contained in the Editor's ‘Introduction’ to each of the volume's three parts. The editor and the authors invite the book's readers to engage them further, with comments and questions that the contributors will be happy to respond to.


    1. Speeches, 9 January 2007 at FICCI. Available at (Accessed on 27 August 2008).

    2. ibid.

    3. ibid.

    Cernea, Michael. M. and C.McDowell (eds) (2000). Risks and Reconstruction: Experiences of Resettlers and Refugees. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
  • Notes on the Editor and Contributors

    The Editor

    Renu Modi is a lecturer and the Director of the Department of African Studies, University of Mumbai. She is a political scientist and has graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She received her Ph.D from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests include issues of livelihood reconstitution at resettlement sites and gender aspects of involuntary resettlement in the Afro-Asian context.

    The Contributors

    Gita Bharali is currently working for her doctorate degree on the subject ‘Social and Environmental Cost of Development-induced Displacement: An Appraisal of the Cost-benefit Analysis in Assam’. She has done extensive research on tribals in north-eastern India, on displacement and plantation labourers and rural banking in Assam. She is involved with the struggle against the proposed Pagladiya Dam in the Nalbari district of Assam and has tried to network it with the other social movements in the country. She is also involved with ‘Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee’, a peasant movement in Assam.

    Michael M. Cernea is the world's leading social scientist in the field of population resettlement. For over two decades, Prof. Cernea served as the World Bank's Senior Adviser for Social Policies and Sociology. He wrote the World Bank's first Policy on Involuntary Resettlement (1980) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) Policy Guidelines on Resettlement (1992). Currently, he teaches at the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., as Research Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs and is the Senior Social Adviser with the Global Environment Facility. Prof. Cernea has authored and edited several studies and volumes on development and social science issues. Among his books are Putting People First (1991), Social Organization and Development Anthropology (1996), Social Assessment for Better Development (ed. with Ayse Kudat, 1997), Resettlement and Development (vol. II, and I published in China, 1996–98), The Economics of Involuntary Resettlement: Questions and Challenges (1999), Risks and Reconstruction. Experiences of Resettlers and Refugees (2000, with C. McDowell), Cultural Heritage and Development: A Framework for Action in the Middle East and North Africa (2001, 2003), Researching the Culture in Agri-Culture (2006, with A. Kassam) and Can Compensation Prevent Impoverishment? (2008, with H.M. Mathur).

    Anthony Dias is currently the Director at the Xavier Institute of Social Research (XISR). He is a doctorate in law from the National School of Law, Bangalore, India. His current research interests are on issues of human rights, displacement due to urban development and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), tribal communities in India and environmental policy and law.

    Armelle Faure is an anthropologist. She did her doctorate on the Bagre Dam, on the Volta river located at the Burkina Faso and Ghana border. She has done extensive fieldwork in west Africa. Her recent research has been a comparative study of the environmental and social impact of large dams in the Dordogne Valley in France and the impact of the dams on the Volta river basin. Her works have published extensively on issues of involuntary resettlement, mainly in west Africa. She is an independent consultant with the World Bank.

    Walter Fernandes is a sociologist, and has researched and written on issues of development and displacement in India for over four decades. Formerly, he was the Director of the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi and the editor of Social Action. Currently, Dr Fernandes is the Director of the North-Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC) located at Guwahati. At the research centre Dr Fernandes and his research team have done extensive field-based research on issues of displacement of tribals in the NorthEast. Dr Fernandes is the co-author of books titled, Development, Displacement and Resettlement: Issues for a National Debate (with Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, eds, 1989); Development, Displacement and Resettlement in the Tribal Areas of Orissa (with Anthony Raj, 1992) and Development-induced Displacement and Rehabilitation in Orissa 1951–55: A Data-base on its Nature and Extent (with Mohammed Asif, 1997).

    Yntiso D. Gebre is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He is the current Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology and Deputy President of the Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists. Dr Yntiso has published numerous articles in major international journals and chapters in edited books and monographs. He has co-edited Displacement Risks in Africa: Refugees, Resettlers and their Host Population (2005) and African Study Monographs, Supplementary Issue No. 29 (2005). His research interests include displacement issues, culture and development, inter-ethnic relations and livelihood strategies.

    Hafiza Khatun is a Professor of Geography at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. She has taught and researched on issues of forced displacement for three decades. Dr Khatun has worked as a consultant for several international agency aided projects on relocation/resettlement and social impact assessment for development activities and their mitigation measures. She has authored a book titled Dhakiyas on the Move (2003), and edited two books namely, Disaster and the Silent Gender: Contemporary Studies in Geography (2004) and Gender Geography: A Reader Bangladesh Perspective (2005).

    Babita Mahapatra is currently researching for her Ph.D on the subject of displacement and its impact on women, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. She is part of the research and development wing of the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar and has been involved with various action research studies, mainly from a gendered perspective.

    Manthan Adhyayan Kendra is a research centre to study and analyse water- and energy-related issues. The chapter in this volume has been written by the following authors on behalf of Manthan Adhyayan Kendra.

    Shripad Dharmadhikary received his Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree from IIT, Bombay, in 1985. He worked for a couple of years with industry, and for a year with a research institute studying development policy issues. He was a full time activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan from about 1988–2000. In 2001, he set up the ‘Manthan Adhyayan Kendra’, a research centre to study and analyse water and energy related issues. As he is coordinator of the centre, he has been the lead researcher and coordinator of this study on the Bhakra.

    Swathi Sheshadri received her Master of Arts in Social Work in May 1999 from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai with a specialisation in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work. She has also completed her Master of Commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai in August 1997. Before joining Manthan she worked with various organisations in the field of finance, community and mental health. She was with Manthan since its inception in October 2001 till June 2003. At Manthan, apart from the Bhakra study, she was involved in monitoring water privatisation issues, especially the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). At present she works with the National Youth Foundation in Bangalore.

    Rehmat is from the small village of Chikhalda located on the banks of the river Narmada, in the Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh. His village, home and land are affected by submergence due to the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). He is a graduate (B.Sc) and has worked as a full time activist with the Narmada Bachao Andolan for over a decade. He is trained in planning, designing and constructing water harvesting projects; he worked on such projects in a number of places before joining Manthan. He worked with Manthan briefly from July 2003 till December 2003, and rejoined again from January 2005. He has been actively involved with the Bhakra study, issues of water privatisation and works on the implementation of rural water harvesting projects.

    Florence Padovani received her Ph.D at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She did post-doctoral research work at the Hong Kong University with a grant from the French Ministry of Education. She is currently affiliated with the Department of Sociology at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. She has conducted extensive field work on issues related to forced migration in China, mainly in the Three Gorges area.

    Latha Ravindran is a Professor of Economics and has taught at the Xavier Institute of Management (XIM), Bhubaneswar. She has been involved with research and consulted on issues of social development and development-induced displacement on behalf of organisations such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Orissa and several industrial houses for the past two decades. Dr Ravindran has contributed a course module on displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation conducted by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

    Kai Schmidt-Soltau, a national of Germany, obtained his Ph.D in rural sociology (Muenster) in 1996 and had been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Buea in Cameroon. He worked as independent consultant from 1997 to 2007 extensively on social safeguards, indigenous peoples and involuntary resettlement issues with various stakeholders in South America, Asia and especially Africa. He had assisted the World Bank in developing, implementing and reviewing resettlement policy frameworks and resettlement plans and had conducted in addition 12 case studies in six countries to develop a comprehensive argument on involuntary resettlements from protected areas and national parks. He is a member of various commissions and international networks on displacement, resettlement and protected areas which are working closely with key stakeholders, the government, donor community and national and international NGOs.

    R.N. Sharma is a sociologist and received his Ph.D from IIT, Kanpur in 1978. Since then he has been employed at TISS in various capacities and headed the Unit for Urban Studies for 15 years. Currently he is a Professor at the Centre for Development Studies and the Dean at the School of Social Sciences, TISS. His research focus has been on issues of urban processes and resettlement and rehabilitation in the rural and urban contexts. Prof. Sharma has published several papers and edited two books titled Issues in Development: The Case of Navi Mumbai and Indo-Swedish Perspectives on Housing. He has directed about 35 research projects in the areas of his research interest.

    Seema Shekhawat received her Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Jammu, India. She has conducted extensive research in Jammu and Kashmir, mainly on issues of human rights, conflict, displacement and gender, for about a decade. Dr Shekhawat's published works include Conflict and Displacement in Jammu and Kashmir: The Gender Dimension (2006). She has also co-authored (with Dr Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra) two books titled Conflict in Kashmir and Chechnya: Political and Humanitarian Dimensions (2007) and Kashmir Across LOC (2007). Her other research work includes a project on the Kargil Displaced sponsored by Internal Displacement and Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Geneva and on border areas of Kashmir sponsored by Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh. Currently, she is associated as Peace Fellow with Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), New Delhi.

    Bennett Siamwiinde Siamwiza received his Ph.D from the University of Cambridge. A historian by training, he is an Assistant Professor at the Department of History at the University of Zambia. Dr Siamwiza has researched and written extensively on issues of displacement and resettlement in the Gwembe Valley in Zambia.

    Priyanca Mathur Velath is pursuing her doctoral research on the rights of development-induced displaced populations in India at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is the editor of the Rights and Development bulletin at the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), New Delhi. She received the Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue an M.A. course in forced migration at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.

    Chris de Wet is Professor and the Head of the Department of Anthropology at Rhodes University, Grahamstown in South Africa. He has researched for almost three decades on issues of development-induced displacement and resettlement. From 1998 to 2002, he coordinated a project on development-induced displacement and resettlement for the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. He held the Nelson Mandela Chair of African Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2004. His recent publications on the subject include Development-induced Displacement: Problems, Policies and People (ed.), 2005 and Development-induced Displacement: Where To From Here? (ed.), 2006.

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