Rural Electrification and the Diffusion of Electric Water-Lifting Technology in North Arcot District, India

  • Barbara Harriss
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series (CAMCOM)


At the time of India’s independence there were about half the present number of wells in North Arcot District. These were powered either by men or by bullocks. With the expansion of cultivated land in the 1950s, however, there was a considerable increase in the number of open wells. Madduma Bandara (Fig. 21.2) traces a first phase of well-digging innovation which culminated in the mid–1960s, to be followed by a much larger increase which continues to the present. It is tempting to relate the first phase of expansion to the use of diesel engines whose pattern of adoption closely parallels that of the digging of wells. Certainly the oil engine was economically and technologically superior to traditional irrigation practices (Table 13.1).


Diesel Engine Green Revolution Innovation Adoption Village Electrification Rural Electrification 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Harriss

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