Machhakund Hydro Electric Project, Orissa, India


Machhakund (or Machkund) Hydroelectric Project is located near Duduma Falls between the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa Border. It is a collaborative project of Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of Odisha [1]. The Maharaja of Jeypore conceived the idea of a dam in 1928. Although the planning for the project started in 1930’s, the actual displacement began in the late 1940s. As the project was started before independence no proper records for the displacement and rehabilitation are available. Also, the concept of rehabilitation was not evolved at that time [2].

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Basic Data
NameMachhakund Hydro Electric Project, Orissa, India
SiteBlock- Lamptaput, District- Koraput
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
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project is located on the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats near the well-known Duduma falls (Duduma Falls is famous tourist site) on Machkund River. The Hydro Power Plant has a design capacity of 120 MW. It has 6 unit(s) under operation (3 x 23 MW + 3 x 17 MW). The project was established in 1945 as a joint venture project between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. At that time sum of Rs 18 crore was invested in the project. Among the total expenditure Orissa had invested about Rs 6 crore, Andhra Pradesh invested around Rs 12 crore. The first unit was commissioned in 1955 and the last unit was installed in 1959. The plant is operated by Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation and Orissa Hydropower Corporation Limited. As per the Inter-State Agreement, both Andhra Pradesh and Orissa share the expenditure and power in the ratio of 70:30 respectively [1, 4, 5].In an agreement signed between two states in 2008 it was decided that the power will be equally shared between the two states [6].
Level of Investment (in USD)3,045,345 (18 Crores)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationnot known
Start Date28/11/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesAndhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation
Orissa Hydropower Corporation Limited from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Andhra Pradesh, Government of Orissa
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersDalita Sangh

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesThe protestors’ demands include electricity and construction of roads and schools in the area. They said that will not allow the power plant to function until their demands were met [3]
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.As the project and the displacement phenomenon are quite old no record of displacement is available. However, according to different sources [Mahapatra 1990:861 cited in William Stanley 1996] about 2,938 families were displaced by the project. Many of them were allocated in Dandakaranya area around Malkangiri. Perhaps the displaced persons of Machhakund Hydro Electric Project were got better offer in terms of similar kind and measurement of land [2].

In the latest conflict, the power generated from the Machhakund Hydro Electric Project is lighting many villages in both Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The villages lysing at the periphery of the dam and the power plat are yet to get the electricity. The area has also very little developed. Hence villagers demand is justified [3]
Sources and Materials

[2] Machkund, Upper Kolab and NALCO Projects in Koraput District, Orissa by William Stanley Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 31, No. 24, Jun. 15, 1996 Page 1533 of 1533-1538
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[6] The Economic Time
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[1] MACHKUND HE project (AP, Odisha)
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[3] Villagers disrupt power generation from Machhakund
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[6] Orissa, Andhra to share Machkund hydel unit power
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[4] Machkund project to be discussed with Andhra
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[5]Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd.
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Other Documents

MACHKUND Hydro Electric project Source:,_Odisha)
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Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/06/2014