Railways and Development in Colonial India

  • Pallavi V. Das


We have seen that the colonial state’s developmental interventions in the Indian economy took the form of infrastructural projects which largely facilitated resource extraction from India. This became dominant toward the middle of the nineteenth century. State interventions through infrastructural projects had environmental consequences and were, in turn, influenced by the environmental conditions in India. This was especially so in the case of railway establishment in mid-nineteenth-century India. But before examining the extent to which the railways affected the forests in colonial India, it is necessary to examine whether or not the establishment of railways was a developmental project that enabled efficient resource extraction by the colonial state. This is the focus of the present chapter.


Railway Line Average Annual Growth Rate Railway Company Colonial State East India Company 
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