Tuirial Hydro Power Project, Mizoram, India

Description

Tuirial Hydro Power Project is located in Mizoram and is being developed by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (Neepco). The Tuirial hydroelectric project was initially taken up as a central sector scheme by Neepco with an estimated investment cost of Rs369 crore in July 1998. However, the project work came to a halt since June 2004 on account of agitation launched by Tuirial Crop Compensation Claimant Association (TCCCA) claiming payment of crop compensation for the standing crops in the riverine reserve forest [1, 2]. Its foundation stone was laid by former Union minister Kabindra Purakasyatha in September 1996, construction suddenly came to a halt during the tenure of the MNF government following a controversy over payment of compensation to land-losers for this project site in 2003 [2].

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Basic Data
NameTuirial Hydro Power Project, Mizoram, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceMizoram
SiteBilkhawtlir
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Water access rights and entitlements
Specific Commodities
Land
Electricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsTuirial project is envisaged as a medium head storage scheme with an installed capacity of 60 Mw (2 x 30 Mw) [1]. The project envisages the construction of a 77-metre high earthen dam across the river Tuirial, a tributary of the Barak. It will have two turbines, each capable of churning out 30MW of power. Delay in commissioning the project by at least eight years had increased the total cost to a whopping Rs 913 crore, which, however, will be borne by the Centre [2]. The government of Mizoram has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the purchase of power from this project at Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) rates. The project is expected to help the state of Mizoram and the North Eastern Region to mitigate the power shortage [1]. The project is designed to generate 60 MW of power 12 per cent of which would be shared by the state. The government of Mizoram would get 12 per cent of the power generated from the hydel project free of cost [3]
Level of Investment (in USD)147,409,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesNorth Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (Neepco) from India
National Hydroelectric Power Corporation of India (NHPC) from India
Patel Engineering from India
Relevant government actorsCentral Electricity Regulatory Commission , Government of India, Government of Mizoram
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTuirial Crop Compensation Claimant Association (TCCCA), Sinlung People’s Collective (SPC), Sinlung People’s Human Rights Organisation (SPHRO)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Sinlung People’s Collective (SPC) Sinlung People’s Human Rights Organisation (SPHRO)
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Development of Alternatives1. The implementing agencies, State as well as non-State actors should immediately rethink, implement moratorium and withdraw from pursuing these destructive projects and save our land and people from irreparable destruction. The State as well as non-State actors ought to know that our land, rivers and forests are the backbone of our existence and survival. Our citizenship and democratic rights that are integrally embedded with our land, forests and rivers must be safeguarded and protected for all time to come.

2. The haves and influential coterie from Mizoram and Manipur should stop their selfish quest for securing contract job and compensation by negating the ancestral dwellers.

3.There should be Constitutional Safeguards for securing and developing our land, our people, our rights and our future [5].
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The proposed projects failed to be transparent in all its planning process. All information’s about these dams that, otherwise, are supposed to link, inform and educate the affected people did not reach them. Information has become a costly property in the hands of the few powerful groups who will never be affected by the dam, but who sought monetary compensation, contract job and other benefits from the project. The entire covert practice is a negation of the Fundamental Rights of the marginalized tribals who will be affected by these projects.

According to protestors, Mizoram requires only 100-160 MW for its own consumption, the imposition of these projects in this small state clearly points to the extermination of the land and people in the name of development. Moreover, these projects are without their knowledge.

The major share of compensation of Tuirial Multipurpose Hydro Electric Project were bagged by the rich, influential and powerful lots from Mizoram’s Aizawl; people who were never affected by these projects [5].

Sources and Materials
Legislations

Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act
[click to view]

Forest Right Act
[click to view]

Links

[5]Mizoram Anti Dam Protest in Aizawl
[click to view]

[1] CCEA revises Tuirial Hydro project cost
[click to view]

[2] Mizoram to get hydel power plant by 2014
[click to view]

[3] Tuirial project to be completed by 2014
[click to view]

[4] Protest against hydro projects in Mizoram
[click to view]

Essar Projects Infrastructure SBU bags the Tuirial Hydro Power Project contract
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014
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