The Role of Rural Infrastructure
in Poverty Reduction: A Case
Study of Kurung Kumey District,
Department of Anthropology,
Rajiv Gandhi University,
Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh, India
This study examines the role of infrastructure on poverty
reduction in Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh.
According to Arunachal Pradesh Human Development
Report- 2005 (2006), the level of poverty in Arunachal
Pradesh is high with more than 78% of families in rural
areas in 1997-98 is estimated to be below poverty line as
against 54% in 1992-93.
According to Kessides (1993) better rural infrastructure
and human development programmes promote economic
growth, social development and reduce poverty.
Objectives of Study
The objectives of this study are to identify the types and
the distribution of infrastructural facilities in Kurung
Kumey district and also to determine their impacts on the
lives of the people.
How much impact they are generating is however not
known and it is upon this that this study has been
This study is therefore carried out to determine the role of
infrastructure provision in alleviating poverty in Kurung
Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Universe of Study
The study area under consideration is Kurung Kumey
district of Arunachal Pradesh. However, the sample of the
study has been selected to all the 15 administrative centres
of the district.
The district is located between 27º 45’ to 28º 22’ N
latitudes and 92º 00’ to 94º 15’ E longitudes and spread
over an area of 6,675 sq. km.
It is bounded by Tibet (China) in the north, Upper
Subansiri District in the East, East Kameng District in the
West, Lower Subansiri District and a portion of Papum
Pare District in the South.
Methodology of Study
The data for the study were collected from primary and
The tools used for data collection from primary sources
were questionnaires, interviews and personal observation.
Personal observation was helpful in obtaining information
especially on the types and distribution of infrastructure
and ancillary activities and also of the physical condition
of the facilities in the study area.
Secondary data on the other hand were collected from state
government’s publish documents.
The concepts upon which this study revolves are
infrastructure and poverty. They are discussed to enable us
have the basis and frame for this subject.
Concept of Infrastructure
Concept of Poverty
The Role of Facilities on Poverty
The role of infrastructure facilities in achieving poverty
reduction cannot be over emphasized. Infrastructure helps
in promoting rural employment.
Upon these and many other roles, I have tried to determine
how the infrastructures under study have alleviated
poverty in the study area which includes: Physical
Development, Educational Status, Health Services, etc.
In this study, the following indices were used to determine
the impact of the facilities on poverty alleviation in the
study area. They are; access to medical care, employment,
literacy and mortality ratio.
Problems of Facility Development in the Area
In spite of these enormous contributions to rural poverty
alleviation, facility provision and development is facing
some problems in the study area in particular and district
as a whole.
Facilities considered inadequate by the people of the study
area are police station, post offices and roads. In the case
of the roads, majority are not tarred.
The second most important problem that confronts the
study area in terms of facility development is the
maintenance of existing facilities. The study shows that the
condition of some facilities in the area is very poor as
some of them are very old and have not been adequately
Problems of Facility Development in the Area
The third most important factor affecting facility
development is the attitude of government, particularly the
state government in locating more facilities in the study
Rural areas seem not to interest government when it comes
to facility location.
The attitude of government in investing in facilities
particularly in rural areas as shown in this study is
affecting poverty alleviation.
A major emphasis of the rural development programmes in
Arunachal Pradesh, whether in the past or presently, is the
development of rural infrastructure for poverty reduction.
Unfortunately, not much has been achieved due to faulty
implementation. As a result, the rural areas still remain
places of poverty, disease and deaths, high unemployment
In the study area, few infrastructural facilities are available
and their impacts have been highlighted. However, these
impacts have not met the desires and the aspiration of the
majority of the people of the study area.
For poverty to be reduced to its minimum through facility
provision in the rural areas, the following suggestions are
therefore necessary for implementation.
There is need to articulate all the rural development plans
and come out with a more viable and formidable
programmes which entertains the entire needs of the rural
These programmes should be genuinely set and
governments at the various levels should be involved in
the operationalization and implementation for improved
standard of living of the rural people.
The effects of the inadequacy of these facilities in the area
are enormous including accessibility problems.
It is therefore recommended that settlements having over
one thousand population should have a health centre, water
facility, market, electricity and a postal agency.
All roads linking the settlements should be tarred for the
purpose of improved accessibility.
To do this, governments should develop infrastructural
development plans for which there could be collaborative
engagement to provide infrastructure.