Roadbuilding for development: who wins and who loses?


A map of the road in Nepal’s Humla district, bordering Tibet, studied by researcher Phurwa Dhondup.

Roads lead to development: they link remote places with markets, hospitals and schools, says one side of the argument. Roads ruin the unique nature of untouched places, reducing an already too homogeneous world to sameness, retorts the other side.

That argument is not worth having, says researcher Phurwa Dhondup on the latest episode of the Nepal Now podcast. In a recently published paper, Dhondup, a PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder, argues that what’s important is to examine how individual lives are affected when roads are constructed. The results are not positive, he suggests.

“My contention is that it’s not remoteness that has cased food security but actually new forms of connections and development,” Dhondup tells Nepal Now. You can listen to the full episode on the show’s website or on your favourite podcast app.

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