Rampur Hydroelectric Project, HP, India

The first WB project in its re-engagement in the hydropower sector in India after more than ten years of shying away from funding water infrastructure projects in the country, bringing alone international interests and local impacts


The 412 MW Rampur Hydroelectric Project is located near Rampur in Himachal Pradesh on the river Satluj. This run-of-river was first proposed by the Government of India in 2004. The project was granted environment clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2004. Rampur HEP is a public sector venture being executed under the aegis of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL). The company has under execution 10 more hydropower projects in Nepal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and aims to tap 6,000 MW by 2020. The Rampur project is designed as a cascade run of the river plant and will not draw out any water from the river but from the tailrace of Nathpa Jhakri project. NP also owned and operated by SJVNL, and is also one of several mega dam projects in the state.

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Basic Data
NameRampur Hydroelectric Project, HP, India
ProvinceKullu district, Himachal Pradesh
SiteBayal (or Bael, close to Rampur)
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 CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe plant's capacity is 412 MW. The project is designed to use water as it leaves the Nathpa Jhakri Hydropower Project. The water is passed down a 15 km head race tunnel with 10.5 meters diameter to the Rampur powerhouse, where it will generate approximately 1,770 million units of electricity a year (World Bank) The generated power will be exported to different states under the NEWNE Grid2 as per the power purchase agreement between the states and the project promoter.

The RHEP project consists of six turbine generators, each having a rated capacity of 68.67 MW. The project does not require construction of a dam, reservoir capacity or additional land inundation.
Project Area (in hectares)81
Level of Investment (in USD)670,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population300
Start Date2004
Company Names or State EnterprisesSatluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN) from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh Department of Forests, Swedish Energy Agency
International and Financial InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
International Bank For Reconstruction And Development (IBRD)
Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM Executive Board)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersInternational Rivers, http://www.internationalrivers.org/, Himadhara, www.himdhara.org, SANDRP, http://sandrp.in/, Environmental Protection Village Committee, Rampur
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Development of AlternativesSANDRP and International Rivers call for:

• full EIA and EMP be made available to the local people in their language

• facilitation meeting conducted by credible independent agencies must be held in the affected villages to explain to the people the project

• a public hearing be conducted by credible independent panel where no govt officials or political functionaries should be present

Only after this has been done, the project could be considered for environmental clearance

About the CDM, all opponents agree on the fact that such projects should not be considered additional and therefore do not have the basic requirements for being registered as CDM projects.

Carbon Market Watch adds that

• Large Hydro projects of this capacity must no longer receive CDM support.

• Indian projects that are under investigation by the national Green Tribunal must have the LoA, removed by the Designated National Authority until due process is complete.

Local inhabitants claim their compensation rights and also that a minimum and vital amount of water should be released, according to the Indian environmental law.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Despite national and international mobilization, the construction of the plant is still ongoing and it is still registered as a CDM project.
Sources and Materials

Indus Water Treaty
[click to view]

World Commission of Dam report
[click to view]

EU Linking Directive
[click to view]


CDM Project Design Documentation Form
[click to view]

The Corner House on CDM in India
[click to view]

SJVN's Rampur hydroelectric plant in Himachal starts power generation
[click to view]

Rampur Hydroelectric Status Update: March 2014
[click to view]


(1)Rampur Hydropower Project, The World Bank
[click to view]

(2)International Rivers, The EU Linking Directive
[click to view]

(3)International Rivers, WikiLeaks Puts Integrity of UN Carbon Offsetting Scheme Under Question
[click to view]

(4)Carbon Market Watch
[click to view]

(5)Huff Post Green, World Bank Hydro Project Exposes Blatant Abuse of Climate Funds by Peter Bosshard
[click to view]

[click to view]

(7)Himanshu Thakkars letter of concern to authorities
[click to view]

Projects features by SJVN Limited
[click to view]

Projects features by SJVN Limited
[click to view]

CDM registration
[click to view]

Himachal Watcher
[click to view]

Himachal Watcher
[click to view]

Himanshu Thakkar (SANDRP), open letter to WB director in India - June 2012
[click to view]

SJVN Companys document
[click to view]

Criticism of Sweden’s-carbon-credits-purchase
[click to view]

(8)Swedwatch, Criticism of Sweden’s carbon credits purchase
[click to view]

(9) A Short Introduction to the Rampur Hydropower Project, by Ann Kathrin Schneider, International Rivers Network, June 2006
[click to view]

Promotional video and article by the World Bank
[click to view]

Farmers protest against Hydro power project in Himachal
[click to view]

Media Links

NTDTV, Hydroelectric Project Draws Protest in Northern India, 2009
[click to view]

NTDTV, Satluj River Concerns
[click to view]

Other Documents

Recommendations for CEIA Study: Addressing Environmental concerns in Hydroprojects of Satluj Basin. (10) A report prepared by the Panel of Environmental and Social Experts on Satluj basin hydropower projects appointed by the Directorate of Energy, Himachal Pradesh
[click to view]

Construction site in 2014 Source: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/india/brief/rampur-hydroelectric-status-update
[click to view]

Other CommentsData regarding affected land and people refer to official World Bank documents, which can be found here: http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/indiabackground5.pdf

It states: The resettlement impacts are very moderate, but it will be necessary to devise an appropriate resettlement package in consultation with the affected persons. The project requires about 81 hectares of land, out of which, 32 hectares is private land and the balance is government owned forest-land. It is provisionally estimated that about 215 title-holders will be affected as a result of private land acquisition, and about 20 families will be physically displaced.
Meta Information
ContributorDaniela Del Bene, ICTA - UAB ( d.delbene_at_gmail.com)
Last update19/11/2015