By Ian Stone
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Although one of many said achievements of the British Raj was once the vast building of irrigation works, their results need to date been little studied via historians. during this ebook Dr Stone has undertaken the 1st full-scale learn of the qualitative and quantitative results on neighborhood economics of those irrigation schemes. Focusing upon the area of western Uttar Pradesh within the 19th century, the writer examines intimately the reaction of the peasant financial system to this crucial and pervasive kind of technological swap. particularly, he's excited about the influence on crop offerings, at the organization and strategies of creation, on safeguard from famine and at the ecological stability, on social and fiscal kin, and on differential financial functionality. an essential component of his research is his exam of the technical positive aspects and management of the structures.
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Extra info for Canal Irrigation in British India: Perspectives on Technological Change in a Peasant Economy
Even in its truncated form the (Upper) Ganges Canal, in the mileage ofits channels, was still the largest in India. 25 million acres in the 1899--1900 drought. In comparison, the other giant, the LGC, watered 800,000 and just over one million acres respectively. 41 Apart from the earlier works in the Dun Valley, Bijnor , and Rohilkhand north of Bareilly (which together did not typically water more than 150,000 acres and were classified as 'minor' works), UP canal-building outside the Doab was very limited up until the opening of the Sarda Canal, serving the Ganges-Gogra doab, in 1928.
As a result, many of the design features of the canal actually hampered traffic and effectively undermined any attempt to increase its use for navigation purposes. It did not help, for example, that the main routes were not designed to serve the large trading centres. Moreover, the velocity of the water made towing boats upstream a slow business, particularly as there was no towpath provision under the ordinary bridges (which were often designed, particularly in the lower branches, without sufficient headroom for loaded boats).
Developmentof the canalsystem 53 claim as the pre-eminent engineer in the entire history of the subcontinent, particularly one whose reputation was based on a work which, however impressive in its scale and achievement, was patently flawed in design and unprofitable besides . With the air of a man supremely confident in his own abilities, the somewhat dogmatic Cotton campaigned tenaciously for the acceptance of his views. His personalised attacks on Cautley and on other individuals and bodies with whom he clashed naturally made him enemies, and inevitably had the effect of causing a closing of ranks among the north Indian PWD officers, with whom Cautley was popular and as an engineer very highly regarded (as Crofton's reference to 'our loved and honoured chief in his Reporton the GangesCanalshows).