Last update:

Kanhar Dam, UP, India


The Kanhar Dam was conceived 37 years ago and has been in abeyance since last 25 years. It was originally approved by the Central Water Commission in September, 1976 for irrigation purposes and the initial budget was of Rs. 27.75 Crores. Initially, there was some foundation work undertaken but the project was soon stalled due to inter-state issues, lack of funds and strong protests from tribal communities of the region. As per a progress report of the project for 1998-99, the construction work is completely abandoned since 1989-90. Since then, there are numerous occasions when the project was inaugurated, notable among them is one on 15th January, 2011 when the then Chief Minister Mayawati laid foundation stone again. Another inauguration took place when on 12th November, 2012 when Mr. Shiv Pal Singh Yadav (uncle of present CM Akhilesh Yadav), the Irrigation Minister of Uttar Pradesh laid another foundation stone to start the work of spillway. However no work could be taken up.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kanhar Dam, UP, India
State or province:Uttar Pradesh
Location of conflict:Dudhi tehsil, Sonbhadra
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

3.003 km earthen dam having maximum height of 39.90 m from

See more
Project area:4,131
Level of Investment for the conflictive project11,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:60,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2002
Relevant government actors:State Government of Uttar Pradesh, Department of Irrigation
International and Finance InstitutionsNational Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) from India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Gram Swaraj Samiti, Vindhya Bachao, People's Union for Civil Liberties
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsMass arrests
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Court decision (undecided)
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The work on the dam has been recently resumed. People are mobilizing but outcome is still uncertain.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

MoEF Circular dated 15th January, 2008-Applicability of EIA Notification, 2006 for Cases where Land has been Acquired before EIA Notification, 1994
[click to view]

EIA Notification, 2006
[click to view]

Forest Conservation Act, 1980
[click to view]

Stop the illegal construction of the kanhar dam, published 5th January, 2015 by 'GLobal Call for Climate Action'
[click to view]

Kanhar Dam Resource Page on Vindhya Bachao portal
[click to view]

News article publishd by Hindi Daily Nayi Duniya, 3rd January, 2014
[click to view]

Story of Kanhar, published 15.12.2014 by Tehelka magazine in Hindi
[click to view]

Kanhar Project in UP: Another unwanted dam, published 29th December in SANDRP (South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Kanhar Dam Project Site
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Debadityo Sinha, Vindhya Bachao ([email protected])
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1725
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.