ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mega-projects and the Erosion of Human Security

The Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited petrochemical complex was an outcome of the Assam Accord and was aimed at promoting the socio-economic development of Assam. This study reveals that the project has degraded the environment and common property resources of 10 villages surrounding the plant, and adversely affected the health, food security, livelihoods and cultural life of villagers.

Several human interventions all over the world have, over time, sought to tame rivers, flatten mountains and turn entire forests into neatly configured cities. In the process of human interventions in nature, the environment has undergone massive changes, drastically altering large swathes of topography and often leading to the destruction of entire ecosystems and ways of life. The environment and its destruction mean different things to different people, depending on a range of socio-economic indices such as status, location, and gender. For instance,

The natural resource management of the [tribal and other rural] communities ... is geared to their sustainable use in order to both conserve and renew the resources. The formal economy, on the contrary, is based on the ‘modern worldview’ of the environment mainly as a commodity that the industrialists use as a raw material. (Fernandes 2011: 23)

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