Chapter

Embankments and its Discontents

Rohan D’Souza

in Drowned and Dammed

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195682175
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082094 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195682175.003.0004
Embankments and its Discontents

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This chapter outlines the various debates over the embankments, which were prolifically constructed in this period across the length and breadth of the delta as the technical means for ‘protecting’ cultivated land as property. The British East India Company administration realized that embankment repair and maintenance had become a source of considerable contention and dispute and required a far more forceful administrative approach. The military engineers were presenting alternate views and questioning the decisions of the revenue administration even though the pace for embankment construction in Orissa continued to be set by the imperatives for revenue collection. Both the revenue and engineering were tested over the rising maintenance costs of the bunds, the tedium of regular repair, and popular resistance against flood-control measures. It also discusses the Naraj Spur which was installed with primary objective of redirecting the waters of the Mahanadi back into its main channel.

Keywords: embankments; British East India Company; repair; maintenance; Orissa; Naraj Spur; delta; Mahanadi

Chapter.  10950 words.  Illustrated.

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