By Pallavi V. Das
This learn explores the confluence of financial system and ecology in British India, exhibiting that Britain initiated fiscal improvement options in India which will successfully extract assets from it. It seems particularly at how nation railway building and wooded area conservation efforts took on a cyclical, virtually symbiotic relationship.
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Extra info for Colonialism, Development, and the Environment: Railways and Deforestation in British India, 1860–1884
The state, thus, had a very instrumentalist conception of the forests. 72 They were able to use these views successfully to make the state implement forest conservation policies. Given the political and economic context in which the colonial state and scientists operated (especially in the second half of the nineteenth century), Grove’s argument is, in my opinion, misleading. I argue that the colonial scientists were able to inﬂuence the state in the sphere of forest conservation and other forest policies only when their suggestions were in tune with the long-term resource extraction interest of the state.
57 Thus, by 1900 the total British investment in colonial Indian railways was 200 million pounds sterling. 58 R a i lway s a n d D e v e l o p m e n t i n C o l o n i a l I n d i a 29 The question is: Could the railways have been built without involving nonstate economic enterprises, that is, by the state itself? 59 But it could not continue to do so due to lack of funds because of famines, costly wars, and so on. 60 No matter who actually built the railways, their establishment and expansion were characterized by intensive state involvement and supervision.
In 1865 Lahore was further linked with Multan and the route was extended up to Mujjaffargarh in 1870. Amritsar was also linked with Delhi through important wheat-producing districts such as Jullundur and Ludhiana. In 1878, IVR opened new lines from Kotri to Multan, while in the north, Lahore was connected to Peshawar via Jhelum and Multan by the PNR. By late 1880s railways in Punjab linked all the wheatproducing districts such as Ludhiana, Jullundur, Amritsar, Lahore, Ferozepur, and Lyallpur. 101 Some speciﬁc examples are helpful to demonstrate how economic concerns of the colonial state played out at the provincial level.
Colonialism, Development, and the Environment: Railways and Deforestation in British India, 1860–1884 by Pallavi V. Das