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Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project, India


The 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric power Project, proposed to come up at Gerukamukh of Assam Arunachal border is the first large hydroelectric project to be constructed in the Subansiri river basin.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project, India
State or province:Assam
Location of conflict:Gerukamukh
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Lower Subansiri hydroelectric power project (LHSEP) is the part of an ambitious plan of government of Indian to generate 50,000MW.

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project1.970,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2003
Company names or state enterprises:National Hydroelectric Power Corporation of India (NHPC) from India
Central Electricity Authority (CEA) from India
Relevant government actors:Assam Government, Ministry of Environment & Forest , Government of India, Assam Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Peoples Movement for Subansiri Brahmaputra Valley [PMSBV], River Basin Friends, All Assam Students Union [AASU], The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity [KMSS], The Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad [AJYCP], Takam Mising Porin Kebang [TMPK], Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group (India), International Rivers (US)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Institutional changes
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:1. There must be a serious and long term investigation of the geological framework, hydrological features of the Brahmaputra basin
2. The question of downstream impacts along the river Brahmaputra must be recognized. Downstream impact assessments must be a pre-condition for all dam proposals.
3. There must be a cumulative impact assessments of all upstream dams in Arunachal Pradesh before clearance is given to construction of dams there.
4. The rights of the people of Assam over these water resources must be recognized by the Government of India
5. immediate tripartite discussion with the Prime Minister of India, Government of Assam and Representative of downstream people of Assam who are agitating against the construction of Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project.
6. Till all such issues are resolved, KMSS demands a moratorium on construction work of LSHP and other hydro power projects of the Brahmaputra basin [7]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Chief minister Tarun Gogoi said the Union power ministry has approved the seismic safety recommendations for NHPCs Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project and has appealed to anti-dam agitators to withdraw their protest to pave the way for construction of the dam [5].
Union Minister Jairam Ramesh suggested that work on the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project is unlikely to be halted. He promised to address the concerns of the downstream States [6]
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Dams, Displacement, Policy and Law in India
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

impacts of large dam: a case study from India

Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project and future of the Subansiri River Ecosystem
[click to view]

The Subansiri Subversion
[click to view]

Erosion and devastation of river Subansiri and future downstream


Register of Large Dams 2009.pdf
[click to view]

[click to view]

Lower Subansiri hydel project: Stop all work till critical issues are resolve
[click to view]

[1] North East Dams

[2] A flood of dams
[click to view]

[3] Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project and future of the Subansiri River Ecosystem by Ranjit Dutta* and Sarada Kanta Sarma

[4] Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project, India
[click to view]

[5] Gogoi calls for end to anti-Subansiri dam stir
[click to view]

[6] Subansiri dam work not to be halted: Ramesh
[click to view]

[7] Demand for a moratorium on construction work of Lower Subansiri Hydro Power (LSHP) -
[click to view]

NHPC bid to end Subansiri dam impasse
[click to view]

Arunachal had warned NHPC on dam project
[click to view]

Anti–big dam groups fire betrayal salvo at NHPC
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Anti-dam protest gets violent again
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Assam: Medha Patkar leads protests against mega dams
[click to view]

Mega Dams In North-East India: Are They Necessary?
[click to view]

Subansiri Dam construction will not stop : Ramesh
[click to view]

Mega dams: campaigning against the plans of the Indian government
[click to view]

Activists Flay Subansiri Power Project
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[click to view]

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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Assam: Protests hit Subansiri hydro-power project
[click to view]

Subansiri Lower Project
[click to view]

Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project - dam site
[click to view]

Subansiri Dam title
[click to view]

[click to view]

Stop Big Dam in lower subansiri hydroelectric project
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:942
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