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The political economy of metering agricultural tube wells in West Bengal, India


  • Aditi Mukherji
  • Arijit Das


Unmetered electricity supply to agriculture has given rise to a unique and invidious water-energy-food nexus in India. Metering of agricultural consumers has been suggested as a way to break the nexus, but most states have not been able to meter farmers due to their opposition . The only exception is the state of West Bengal. Using primary data from a household survey conducted in 2010 when the metering process was still underway, this paper argues that farmers' support for metering in West Bengal can be explained in terms of the economics of groundwater use and politics surrounding agriculture and groundwater in the state.

Suggested Citation

  • Aditi Mukherji & Arijit Das, 2014. "The political economy of metering agricultural tube wells in West Bengal, India," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 671-685, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rwinxx:v:39:y:2014:i:5:p:671-685
    DOI: 10.1080/02508060.2014.955408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shah, Tushaar & Scott, C. & Kishore, A. & Sharma, A., 2003. "Energy-irrigation nexus in South Asia: Improving groundwater conservation and power sector viability," IWMI Research Reports H033885, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Birner, Regina & Gupta, Surupa & Sharma, Neeru, 2011. "The political economy of agricultural policy reform in India: Fertilizers and electricity for irrigation," Research reports reginabirner, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. John Briscoe & R.P.S. Malik, 2006. "India's Water Economy : Bracing for a Turbulent Future," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7238, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis Wichelns, 2015. "Water productivity and water footprints are not helpful in determining optimal water allocations or efficient management strategies," Water International, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(7), pages 1059-1070, November.

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