Socio-economic and environmental impacts of the Konkan Railway in India
Speakers: T. Jayaraman, professor, School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences;
Sreeja Jaiswal, PhD candidate, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Chair: Kanika Jha Kingra, Former evidence impact manager, 3ie
Venue: Lecture Hall 1, Annexe, India International Centre, New Delhi
There is a debate around development and environmental imperatives when it comes to large infrastructure projects in specific ecological zones. The literature has been especially critical of large infrastructure projects, and scholars view them as inherently incompatible with sustainability.
T Jayaraman and Sreeja Jaiswal (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) presented findings from a 3ie-funded impact evaluation of the socio-economic and environmental impact of the Konkan Railway in India.
The Konkan railway is the biggest rail project executed in post-independence India. Operational since 1998, it traverses over 760km along the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The region is ecologically sensitive and citizen groups had challenged its construction based on predicted damage to local ecosystems.
The authors looked at three broad questions: has the stated project objectives of the Konkan railway been achieved; what is the impact on population composition and workforce composition; and how the environment in the region through which the railway passes been affected by the railway line.
About the speakers
T. Jayaraman is a professor in the School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. His research interests include domestic and international climate policy, climate change and agriculture, and environmental politics and governance. He works with the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on scientific and policy issues in climate change. He is also a member of the Kerala State Planning Board.
Sreeja Jaiswal is a PhD candidate at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has also worked as assistant professor at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies at the same institute. Her research interests include impact evaluation, climate change and environmental politics.