Understanding Impoverishment: The Consequences of Development-Induced Displacement

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

8
Unrecognised, Unnecessary and
Unjust Displacement
CASE STUDIES FROM GUJARAT, INDIA

Gautam Appa and Girish Patel


Introduction

T his chapter defines three arguably new categories of involuntary displacement induced by economic development activity. It attempts to show through case studies 1 from Gujarat, India, that displacement due to development can be indirect (and hence hidden and unrecognised), unnecessary and manifestly unjust, although legal. Unrecognised displacement, as Scudder describes in an earlier chapter, is a poorly understood category which needs to be properly defined and documented. Most unnecessary displacement and some unjust displacement can be tackled with simple policy changes, which are outlined. The need for a national policy on development-induced displacement is highlighted.

It is now known that about ten million people annually enter the cycle of forced displacement and relocation through dam construction and urban/transportation projects alone. Cernea earlier pointed out that this is a partial figure because it does not include populations

____________________
1
Six of the seven cases presented in this chapter are based on cases filed in the Gujarat High Court on behalf of project-affected people in which Girish Patel, one of the authors, acted as advocate.

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