The proposed Koel-Karo project was first proposed in 1957 under the second Five Year Plan. The final project report was completed in 1973, and initially the total cost was estimated to be Rs 137 crore. According to the project report, two dams were to be constructed — at Basia on the South Koel River and at Lohajimi on the North Karo River. The two dams were to be connected by a 34.7km canal. To facilitate power generation, permission was given for the construction of four large power houses and two smaller ones, capable of generating 710MW daily. The project, covering Ranchi, Gumla and Singhbhum districts, was to utilise water from South Koel and North Karo rivers. The project became a non-starter following opposition from tribals who feared large-scale social and cultural displacement. The project was formally shelved in 2003 following intense protests by the local population.