The Local Politics of Policy in the Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Reforms

Dik Roth and Linden Vincent

in Controlling the Water

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082247 | DOI:
The Local Politics of Policy in the Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Reforms

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In recent years there is a growing interest in the impact and performance of irrigation management transfer (IMT) or participatory irrigation management (PIM) models. The Andhra Pradesh irrigation reform of 1996 (the ‘Andhra Model’) has also attracted much attention. Using a ‘politics of policy’ framework, this chapter critically examines the Andhra model and its proclaimed success. On the basis of field evidence, the chapter shows that the reform policy was captured by the irrigation bureaucracy, WUA representatives, and local political leaders. Thus, the chapter provides an alternative perspective on irrigation reforms. It further provides evidence that the reform policy did not result in a complete devolution of bureaucratic powers but rather served to recapture bureaucratic control over irrigation management. It concludes that the struggles between policy actors must be put in the broader framework of historical, political, and bureaucratic transformations.

Keywords: canal irrigation; participatory irrigation management; irrigation management transfer; water users’ associations; irrigation bureaucracy; irrigation maintenance; politics of policy; irrigation in Andhra Pradesh

Chapter.  8560 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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