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Gosikhurd Dam Irrigation Project, Maharastra, India


The Gosikhurd project on Wainganga River, in Maharastra’s eastern Vidarva region, was approved in 1982 and launched by the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984. The project was declared as ‘National Irrigation Project’ by the government of India [1]. The project is still incomplete and there are gross irregularities in rehabilitation of effected people, environmental clearances, financial embezzlement. More than 1 lakh population is affected by construction of the dam [4]. An action committee of Gosikhurd irrigation project-affected persons took out protest march for the delay in rehabilitation of dam oustees time to time [3]. Gosikhurd dam authorities have started blocking the water in 2012 are facing a stiff resistance from the project affected persons (PAPS) who are refusing to vacate despite the threat of submergence. Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation has started blocking water and this may leave hundreds of people still living in submergence area without a shelter during this rainy season. Authorities have made no proper arrangement for rehabilitation of the oustees. The oustees are demanding that water damming should begin only after they are fully rehabilitated and given their rightful compensation [2].

Around 91 villages will be affected by the project, an amount of more than 100,000 people.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Gosikhurd Dam Irrigation Project, Maharastra, India
State or province:Maharastra
Location of conflict:Village-Gosikhurd; District-Bhandara
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Water

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The project was planned to irrigate 2.50 lakh hectares with a network of canals including a right bank canal of 99 km, a left bank canal of 22.93 km and four lift irrigation schemes — Tekepar, Nerla, Ambhora and Mokhabardi. It also includes renovation of the existing Asolamendha tank. The project, launched by the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, it is far from completion [1].

Project area:3,486,200
Level of Investment for the conflictive project1,673,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100
Start of the conflict:1984
Company names or state enterprises:Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation from India
Relevant government actors:Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Maharastra Engineering Research Institute, Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) Government of India, Government of Maharastra
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Gosikhurd Prakalpgrast Sangharsh Samiti (GPSS), Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI), Kashtkari Jan Andolan, National Alliance for Peoples Movement (NAPM)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:For large dam project like Gosikhurd, it is important to have a uniform social policy on rehabilitation and resettlement, preventing the absence of legislation in one region and the existence of a generous yet inapplicable framework in another. Far from minimizing the role of social movements it reinforces
their primary strength of permanent pressure on the State government towards respecting its engagements and develop strategies designed through collaborative work and consultation of affected people, social movements, policy-makers (both state-employed and otherwise) and social scientists [6].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Gosikhurd Prakalpgrast Sangharsh Samiti has been demanding a compensation package as per 1999 rehabilitation norms as well as special benefits offered after the project was given national status. They are claiming that in addition to alternative agriculture land, they should be resettled with basic civic amenities and also Rs 12 lakh in lieu of government job and Rs 1 lakh for building cattle sheds and compensation for farm labour as also compensation at revised rates for the land they lost [2]. The project affected persons (PAP) have finally started receiving the compensation promised by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. August 30, 2013 a sum of Rs 1.45 crore was transferred to the bank accounts of first batch of 44 residents of Ambhora-Kala village [5]

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)


National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy


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

[6] For a sociology of dam-induced displacements: state-managed dispossession and social movements of resettlement in Central rural India

The Gosikhurd Dam Project and Transformation of Rural Social Space in Vidarbha, Maharashtra by Joël Cabalion

in Nature, Environment and Society: Conservation, Governance and Transformation in India

Nicolas Lainé and T. B. Subba (Eds.)

[1]Panel showed up Gosikhurd cracks even 2 years ago

[2] Gosi-affected to launch protest fast on June 30

[3] Gosikhurd dam oustees decry resettlement delay

[4] Rs.1200 crore rehabilitation package for Gosikhurd Project

[5] Gosikhurd oustees start getting aid

Gosi Khurd(Indira Sagar) Major Irrigation Project JI00481

,000-crore scam: Gadkari justifies letter lobbying for controversial dam, contractors

Gosikhurd project: Maharashtra announces relief package

Farmers protest government move to divert Gosikhurd water

Wainganga (Gosikhurd) -Nalganga (Purna Tapi) Intra State Link Project


Gosikhurd dams worth

Rs 1,199-cr for Ghosikhurd project-affected gets nod -

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Nagpur : GosiKhurd Dam Project Follow Up

Manikrao thakrey on gosikhurd project (in Marathi)

Other comments:

Meta information

Contributor:Sohan Prasad Sha & Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1007