Industrialization and its impact on environment in colonial Assam

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Shirumoni Baruah


The British occupation of Assam brought a revolutionary change to the economy of Assam. Gradually Assam not only lost its self-sufficiency but also lost its trade relationship with other foreign countries. The tea, coal and oil industries created new demand and opened up fresh avenues for the development of ancillary industries. It had a far-reaching impact upon the socio-cultural, political, ecological as well economic spheres of the people of Assam. Industrialization led to the encroachment of forests. Industrialization also affected the environment of Assam in many ways. The main objective of the work is to examine the impact of industrialization on the environment during that period. An attempt has been made to show through the coal, oil and tea industry how the natural resources of Assam were exploited by the British government to suit their colonial motives and what was the benefit of the local people.


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Shirumoni Baruah

Department of History, B. Borooah College, Guwahati, India.