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Drowned and DammedColonial Capitalism and Flood Control in Eastern India$
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Rohan D'Souza

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195682175

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195682175.001.0001

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(p.215) Conclusion
Drowned and Dammed

Rohan D’Souza

Oxford University Press

This chapter tries to summarize the idea of flood-control. The Hirakud Dam was only an extension of the manual plumbing of natural resources that had begun a century before. Through the idea of the Hirakud Dam the book explains hydraulic control as an ideology, its relationships with colonial capitalism, and the various logics that were forged to dominate the many rivers in the delta. The British East India Company produced a sharp ecological rupture between the deltaic rivers and the surrounding rice-growing alluvial tracts. The Orissa Canal Scheme of 1863 could not neatly train the temperamental rivers through the medium of profit-seeking capital. The subsequent construction of the Hirakud Dam embodied the gargantuan efforts to remake nature in the image of capital. India’s many hydraulic endowments are tried to be re-engineered, developed, harnessed, reshaped, and produced as artefacts and adjuncts to the nation’s fast liberalizing and globalizing economy. Meanwhile, other projects like the Interlinking Rivers Project (ILR) are in the pipeline.

Keywords:   flood-control, Hirakud Dam, British East India Company, Orissa Canal Scheme, Mahanadi, India, colonial capitalism, Interlinking Rivers Project

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