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Integrated Kashang Hydroelectricity Project, HP, India


The 243 MW Integrated Kashang Hydroelectricity Project is proposed on the Kashang and Kerang streams- the right bank tributaries of Satluj River in Morang Tehsil of District Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. District Kinnaur is a Schedule V area under the Indian Constitution (with high percentage of tribal population). The origin of Integrated Kashang goes back to 2002 when a 65 MW hydroelectricity project was conceptualised under Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB). However, later 3 more projects were integrated with the initial design (65 MW Kashang) to develop a 1800 crore project to be executed by the state owned Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL). The four stages of the project are: i. Stage I- comprising of diversion of the Kashang stream, at El. 2829 m, to an underground powerhouse located on the right bank of Sutlej near Powari village, developing a head of approximately 830 m.

ii. Stage II- comprising of diversion of the Kerang stream, at El. 2870 m, into an underground water conductor system leading the upstream end of Stage-I water conductor system.

iii. Stage III- consisting of augmenting the generating capacity of Stage-I powerhouse using Kerang waters over the 820 m head available in Kashang Stage-I powerhouse.

iv. Stage IV- comprising of more or less independent scheme harnessing the power potential of Kerang stream upstream of the diversion site of Stage-II.

The first three stages of the project are now being funded by the Asian Development Bank as a part of the Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Development Investment Program. HPPCL has awarded the construction contract of Stage-1st work to Hindustan Construction Company for Rs. 296.90 crores which involves construction 65 MW Kashang HEP and would also include preparatory work for two subsequent stages which involve installation of two turbines of 65 MW each and space for one more turbine of the same capacity.

Out of these Stage-1 is under construction; for stage II and III the project proponent has got the Environment clearance and the Forest Clearance but construction work has not started due to strong local opposition and local communities have challenged both clearances in National green tribunal. For stage-IV the proponents still have to obtain Forest Clearance.

The project was granted environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on 15th November 2002, and for Integrated Kashang again on 16th October 2010.

For Kashang Stage-1, there was opposition from residents from Pangi village with two demands, which after lot of struggle and series of court cases was finally accepted: - Demand for higher compensation rates for private land to be acquired for the project- Initially the land was acquired under the provisions of Land Acquisition Act 1894. After lot of opposition on ground and a case filed against land rates, the management of HPPCL did an out of court settlement with affected communities and enhanced the rates of all type of land in District Kinnaur at INR 1,04,000.000/biswa (20,00,000.00 per bigha) as per the demand of the local people. These rates are followed in all the land acquisition being done in Kinnaur district.

- Compensation for forest land diverted for the project: The HPPCL was forced to pay Rs. 70,000/- to each and every family who have right over the forestland being diverted for the project. This is the first time any project proponent has paid compensation for the diversion of the forest land in Himachal. After this it has become a norm for the project developers to pay compensation for the forest land being diverted for the project in Kinnaur.

The major opposition is against Integrated Kashang Stage II and IIIrd, were affected community from Lippa and Rarang villages are demanding to scrap the project where there is a plan to divert the water of Kerang stream through KK link tunnel to Kashang stream.

• The major contention is that the water of Kerang stream washes off the debris brought by Taiti stream (a tributary of Kerang stream) and once water of Kerang stream is diverted, Lippa village will be buried under the debris brought by Taiti stream. Therefore the fight is to stop the diversion of Kerang into the tunnel for the project.

• There are close to 150 natural water springs in Lappo area (where the diversion weir with 4 adit tunnels for stage-II and II will be constructed) where 80% people from Lippa village have agriculture land and apple orchards and are dependent on them for irrigation. Without these, it will be not possible for local community to do cultivation in a cold desert area.

• Further Morang Tehsil, where the project is proposed is the abode of Chilgoza pine- a rare endangered tree species. The forest area of 63 hectares which is going to be diverted for the project has Chilgoza pine as dominant species.

• Violation of critical legislation like the Forest Rights Act and Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act (PESA).

• The poor quality of the EIA report, that was prepared by the Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) Shimla.

Though for the initial Kashang project (65 MW), the public hearing was conducted for Environment Clearance granted in 2002, given HPPCL's plans to now develop an integrated project, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) ordered HPPCL to submit a combined Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for all four stages of the project and seek a fresh Environmental Clearance (EC). The public hearing was conducted again in 2009 where local community raised their concerns again. However, the Environmental Appraisal Committee overlooked local opinion and granted Integrated Kashang an Env. Clearance on 16th October 2010. In case of forest diversion, this too has been a piecemeal approach. In 2004, the Forest Advisory Committee's granted forest clearance to Stage I Kashang (18.71 hectares forest land) and in 2001 recommended forest clearance (17 hectares) for stage II and III.

To counter the EIA report, in collaboration with state level environment groups, the local community leaders and affected population submitted their critique to MoEFCC asking for a reconsideration of the EC granted and a similar process was followed against FC.

The project affected populations have stopped all the construction activities started by the HPPCL for Stage-I and II and as representatives of affected community, Paryavaran Sanrakshan Samiti have challenged both the Environmental Clearance and Forest Clearance (Stage II and III) at the National Green Tribunal, which speaks volume about the local atmosphere vis a vis the projects on ground.

The project proponents also applied for CDM under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). However, environment collective Himdhara in collaboration with local environment groups such as Him Lok Jagriti Manch also raised objections against granting of CDM to Integrated Kashang. The groups highlighted loopholes in the Project Detailed Document- to show that the project was conceived before CDM and failed to establish any additionality [2].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Integrated Kashang Hydroelectricity Project, HP, India
State or province:Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:Morang Tehsil
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Carbon offsets

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Both Kashang and Kerang streams will be diverted into tunnels much before its confluence with the Satluj river. For Stage I, the Kashang stream which is 18 kms in length will be diverted around 8 kms before its confluence with the Satluj, whereas for Stage II and III (130 MW in total), the 45 km long Kerang stream will be diverted at around 15.3 kms. The Head Race tunnel (HRT) for Stage II and III will be 6.3 kms long with its diversion point at Lappo village. This entire stretch throughout the tunnel's length is inhabited by 8 villages-namely Pangi, Rarang, Khadra, Jungi Lippa, Aren, Tokhtu and Asrang. It will then be linked to upstream end of Stage-I on top of Pangi village and a combined power house of 195 MW will be constructed on the right bank of Satluj opposite Purbani village. Stage-IV (48 MW) , is more or less an independent project in which, Kerang stream will be diverted from Tokhtu village and power house with an installed capacity of 48 MW will be constructed just before, from where water will be diverted for the Kashang-Kerang link tunnel. [1]

The project will provide electricity to Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) which is part of NEWNE (Northern, Eastern, Western, North- Eastern) grid of India. The project area falls in high alpine zone and in Seismic zone IV and at altitude ranging from 2000 to 3150 meters above sea level.

Project area:85.7356
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectINR 1800 Crore (approximately 285,000,000)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:400 families
Company names or state enterprises:Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd (HCC) from India
Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) from India
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEB) from India
Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla (HFRI) from India - Preparation of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report
Relevant government actors:Government of Himachal Pradesh, Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), Himachal Pradesh High Court, National Green Tribunal, Environment Appraisal Committee of MoEFCC, Department of Forests (GoHP)
International and Finance InstitutionsAsian Development Bank (ADB) - ADB is funding the project under Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Development Investment Program
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/CDM (UNFCC)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Him Lok Jagriti Manch, Kinnaur
Paryavaran Sanrakshan Sangarsh Samiti, Kinnaur
Himdhara Environment Group and Action Collective
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP)

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
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Other Environmental impactsSome environmental impacts have been marked as visible because the Kinnaur region (Satluj basin) has already witnessed/and is witnessing environmental degradation given the cascade of hydropower projects under construction and more planned in the region.
Stage IV of the project raises even more heckles due to its proximity to the Lippa-Asarang Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to various endangered species including musk deer, snow leopard, yak, ibex, goral, blue sheep, brown bear, black bear and Himachal's state bird Mona [5]


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project affected populations have stopped all the construction activities started by the HPPCL for Stage-I and II and as representatives of affected community, Paryavaran Sanrakshan Samiti has challenged both the Environmental Clearance and Forest Clearance (Stage II and III) at the National Green Tribunal.

Sources & Materials

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

Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996

Forest Rights Act 2006

Schedule 5 Area

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

[1] In the Name of Clean Energy: A Report on the Asian Development Bank Financed Hydropower Projects in Himachal Pradesh

[4] Comments submitted by local environment groups against granting of CDM to Integrated Kashang Hydroelectricity project

[5] Kinnaur's Curse?- Environmental Threat from Hydroelectric Projects

[5] India Water Portal - Drilling the hills to devastation

Other documents

[2] Objections to the CDM application for Integrated Kashang Project, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh Submitted to UNFCC by local environment groups

[3] Green Tribunal's Interim order on Integrated Kashang dated 23rd November, 2012 HPPCL directed by the Tribunal to not divert forest land for non forest purposes

Meta information

Contributor:Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, Himachal Pradesh, India ( and Daniela Del Bene, ICTA - UAB (
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2028



Dam site of Stage I Kashang Hydroelectricity Project

The ongoing construction of Stage I (65 MW) Integrated Kashang

Power house site of Integrated Kashang

The Power house of Stage I and II is combined