Last update:
2015-11-19

Sawra-Kuddu hydroelectric project, HP, India

Apple orchards and local agriculture damaged because of dust from construction, poor information to local villagers, cracks in the houses and intense blasting at night. Dams construction and sustainability is rarely a happy marriage.


Description:

The Sawra-Kuddu project is a Run-of-river scheme on the Pabbar river, a tributary of the Yamuna, in Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh state. The plant is one of the few projects in the Yamuna basin, where the government of Himachal Pradesh has identified a hydel potential of 1044.82 MW (shared between HP and Uttarakhand state). The state company HPPCL has created a Special Purpose Vehicle, namely, Pabbar Valley Power Corporation for execution of these projects on the same river. The Project was scheduled for completion in December 2011 but due to non completion of several construction related work, it is now expected to be operational in July 2017.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sawra-Kuddu hydroelectric project, HP, India
Country:India
State or province:Himachal Pradesh
(municipality or city/town)dam site at Hatkoti, Jubbal valley, Shimla district
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
REDD/CDM
Specific commodities:Electricity
Carbon offsets
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The plant will have an installed capacity of 111MW

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Project area:98 ha acquired or diverted (private and forest land)
Level of Investment:176,000,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:8 Panchayats to be directly affected
Company names or state enterprises:Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) from India
Andritz Group from Austria - Andritz Hydro supplied electro-mechanical equipment
Patel Engineering from India - HPPCL awarded a contract to Patel Engineering Ltd. of India in 2009 for civil work, gates, and hoisting equipment
Kirloskar Construction Company Limited - Head Race Tunnel Construction
Coastal Projects Limited from India - Head Race Tunnel Construction
International and Finance InstitutionsAsian Development Bank (ADB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Ranvi Vikas Sabha, Hatkoti, Pabbar Valley

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Noise pollution, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: displacement, Other socio-economic impacts
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:There is no organized opposition in the area but some local concerned villagers have come up with alternative plans for local energy generation and provision. They question the big infrastructure industry and are very firm on defending the apple orchards based economy and the precious water sources of the hills. Those who are beginning to personally bear the damages (like cracks in houses as a result of blasting activities) are looking for a legal recourse. For instance, the President of Ranvi Vikas Sabha is in the process of filing a case at the High Court for compensation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The local ejo's in the beginning did put up a tough fight against the project and opposed it in both official and non official forums, however somewhere the opposition fizzled out due to local political dynamics. Submissions were sent out to HPPCL and ADB- the ADB delegation was especially appraised by Ranvi Vikas Samiti, but their appeals did not lead to any fruition.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

On the Future Carbon Funds, by ADB
[click to view]

CDM documentation
[click to view]

HPPCL projects in the state
[click to view]

EIA Report & EMP/Executive Summary
[click to view]

Other documents

Cracks in the local houses Cracks in the local houses due to tunnelling and blasting
[click to view]

Apple orchards Flourishing apple orchard agriculture in the area, suffering because of the dust produced by blasting and constructions. Photo credit: Daniela Del Bene
[click to view]

Sawra-Kuddu diversion dam site Sawra-Kuddu diversion dam site - Photo credit: Daniela Del Bene
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ICTA-UAB ([email protected])
Last update19/11/2015
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