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National Conference on Geography of Change
 Environmental and Social Impacts of
Hydro-Electric Dams in Chamba District
         of Himachal Pradesh




By:
                        Banjar – 175123 District Kullu
                        Himachal Pradesh (India)
Hasrat Arjjumend        Tel: 01903-200202, 200201,
Senior Fellow           09418133427, 09910188948
                        Fax: +91-01903-222257
                        E-mail: info@grassrootsinstitute.in
                        Website: www.grassrootsinstitute.in   1
Big Dams of India:
Tehri Dam on Bhagirathi River, Tehri in Uttarakhand




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Big Dams of India:
Bhakra Dam on Sutlej River, Punjab/Himachal Pradesh




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Big Dams of India:
Idukki Dam on Periyar River, Kerala




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Introduction:
 In 1947, there were 300 dams
 In 2000, figure roses to 4000
 Today, there are 4300 dams
 After 1980s, the controversies
erupted on issues of large dams
 Large dams in India are
estimated to have submerged
about 37500 km2 land area
 About 10 million people
displaced or affected
 Adverse impacts of dams have
spawned resistance movements
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Methodology:
 Study Area:
 Chamba district, bordered by
Pathankot, Ladakh (J&K),
Lahaul & Bara Banghal, Kangra
(HP), and Gurdaspur (Punjab)
 Average elevation - 1,006 m
(3,301 ft)
 Longitude - 76°12’06” E to
76°14’52” E
 Latitude - 32°44’14” N to
32°45’43” N
 Chamba district lies among 55
most backward districts of India
 Paper based on exploratory
study
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Methodology:
 Research Methods:
 Participant Observation
 Questionnaire to collect data
and record the perception of
the affected local people
 Jadera and Sillagraht
Panchyat of Chamba were
sampled for interviewing 35
respondents from each gram
panchayat.
 Interviews of some key
respondents belonging to
resistance movement
 Review of several recent
publications
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Dams in Himachal Pradesh:
 Himachal Pradesh - 3 main mountain ranges:
       1. Dhauladhar, 2. Pir Panjal, 3. Great Himalayan
 Hydropower generation potential - 23,000 MW (present 7000 )
 401 projects are in different stages of installation on 5 river
basins i.e. Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Chenab & Yamuna
 Rivers and streams are being diverted from one valley into
another, with serious impacts. E.g. 800 MW Parbati-II Project
(Kullu), Kashang projects at 3,000 m (10,000 feet)
                                 Projects close to China border
                                  From origin of Satluj river
                                 (Lake Rakshastal in China) to
                                 Kinnaur district (7 km stretch),
                                 water runs from one tunnel to
                                 another tunnel (run-of-river
                                 projects)
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Dams in Chamba District:
 NHPC dam was first project in 1980
 3 major power projects: Chimera-1, Chimera-2, Chimera-3,
Chimera-3 in Ravi basin
 117 mini/micro project: MOU for 22 signed; IA for 42 signed
 Hul-I is micro-hydroelectric project to produce 3.8 MW on Hul
Nala, a tributary of Ravi river in Saal Valley. But actually is of 5
MW, which created debates on micro- classification.
 Contractor: M/s Hul Hydro Power, subsidiary of Astha
Projects (India) Ltd., Hyderbad




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:
 On 28 km length of Saal River 7 mini & micro hydel projects
are proposed
 Dams are said to adversely impact the ecology, geology, socio-
economics and culture
 Hul-I will disturb approx. 5 km or ¼th of catchment of stream
 Oak forest managed by
agro-pastoralist Gujjars &
Gaddis
 Livestock based local
economy of pastoralists
will be affected severely
 As against official figure
of 243, about 2000 trees will
be cut down

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:
 Once the construction commences, the resulting disturbance
will influence the wild animals to venture into crop fields
causing damages
 Most damaging effect is the diversion of water, impacting
seriously the livelihoods of upstream villages
 People of Saal Valley are
dependent on Hul Nala for
drinking water, irrigation,
fishery & water mills
(gharats)
 Drinking & irrigation
water schemes serving 10
gram panchayats will be
affected

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:
 Discharge of sources of drinking water supply schemes to
villages of Sillagharat, Jadera, Paluhien, Sungal and Kaila
Panchayats has already been reduced
 Lift Irrigation and Pipeline Scheme to serve from Silla Khud
to Koni-ki-Behi gram panchayats will become redundant
 With changing climates,
water sources are fast drying
up. Saal River is only
regular water source for
villages of 8 gram panchyats
and Chamba town.
 Hul-I project can kill Hul
stream and put present &
future uses of water in
jeopardy.
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Socio-Economic Impacts of Hul-I Project:
 6000 people to be affected by Hul-I
 1000 people of Jadera and
Sillagraht panchyats only
 Gujjar and Gaddi nomadic
pastoralists are main inhabitants
 Livelihood and social impacts
would be devastating
 50 families have fishing licence on
Hul stream; about same number
fish with no license
 Around 41 water mills will be
forced to close down; 1 water mill
supports livelihood of 5 families
 500 households will pay double for
grinding of flour

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Socio-Economic Impacts of Hul-I Project:
 Benefits of these power plants will not be going to the
community suffering the consequences
Power will be sold to
private companies and
distributed all over India
for an incredible profit
 Project proponents are
paying a small amount as
one time compensation,
but which is no answer
to sustained regular
income over the years


Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
People’s Resistance against Hul-I Project:
 Saal Ghaati Bachao Sangharsh Morcha & Himalaya Niti
Abhiyan opposing the Hul-I & II projects since 2003
 Opposition is due to
adverse impacts on
forests, irrigation, local
livelihoods, drinking
water supply schemes
and environment.
 Jadera Gram Panhcayat
has set forth 4
resolutions to the Central
Government denying
continuation of Hul-I &
II projects.
Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
People’s Resistance against Hul-I Project:
 Gujjar and Gaddi tribes agitating against Hul-I from diverting
the entire flow of Hul stream on which their lives depend.
 Series of activities
demonstrating
people’s resistance
and struggle against
the dam construction
are illustrated
chronologically in
Annexure-C of paper
[16.11.1996 to
04.10.2012].



Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Conclusion:
 Large-scale negative impacts of dams and inequitable
distribution of risks have caused the mobilization and resistance
of affected people in the country especially after 1980
 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of Central Government
appears not to minimize the environmental & livelihood impacts
of even mini & micro hydel projects in fragile mountain
ecosystems.




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Conclusion:
 Micro hydel projects do not seem de facto micro because of
their adverse effects on ecosystems and local inhabitants
 Despite perpetual resistance of nomadic pastoralists led by
Saal Ghati Bachao Sangharsh Morcha and Himalaya Niti
Abhiyan the state government is adamant to continue the Hul-I
Project in Chamba district.




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Conclusion:
 People’s rights to water use must be recognized and respected
on priority basis.
 State should also review Micro-Hydro-Project Policy giving
impetus to the impacts on people’s livelihoods, environment,
rangelands, irrigation, drinking water and other
local/traditional uses of water.




Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
Thank you very much

            We appeal for collaborations

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
21
info@grassrootsinstitute.in
director@grassrootsinstitute.in
  www.grassrootsinstitute.in
   www.grassroots.org.in          22

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Personalisation of Education by AI and Big Data - Lourdes Guàrdia
 

Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh

  • 1. National Conference on Geography of Change Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh By: Banjar – 175123 District Kullu Himachal Pradesh (India) Hasrat Arjjumend Tel: 01903-200202, 200201, Senior Fellow 09418133427, 09910188948 Fax: +91-01903-222257 E-mail: info@grassrootsinstitute.in Website: www.grassrootsinstitute.in 1
  • 2. Big Dams of India: Tehri Dam on Bhagirathi River, Tehri in Uttarakhand Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 3. Big Dams of India: Bhakra Dam on Sutlej River, Punjab/Himachal Pradesh Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 4. Big Dams of India: Idukki Dam on Periyar River, Kerala Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 5. Introduction:  In 1947, there were 300 dams  In 2000, figure roses to 4000  Today, there are 4300 dams  After 1980s, the controversies erupted on issues of large dams  Large dams in India are estimated to have submerged about 37500 km2 land area  About 10 million people displaced or affected  Adverse impacts of dams have spawned resistance movements Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 6. Methodology:  Study Area:  Chamba district, bordered by Pathankot, Ladakh (J&K), Lahaul & Bara Banghal, Kangra (HP), and Gurdaspur (Punjab)  Average elevation - 1,006 m (3,301 ft)  Longitude - 76°12’06” E to 76°14’52” E  Latitude - 32°44’14” N to 32°45’43” N  Chamba district lies among 55 most backward districts of India  Paper based on exploratory study Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 7. Methodology:  Research Methods:  Participant Observation  Questionnaire to collect data and record the perception of the affected local people  Jadera and Sillagraht Panchyat of Chamba were sampled for interviewing 35 respondents from each gram panchayat.  Interviews of some key respondents belonging to resistance movement  Review of several recent publications Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 8. Dams in Himachal Pradesh:  Himachal Pradesh - 3 main mountain ranges: 1. Dhauladhar, 2. Pir Panjal, 3. Great Himalayan  Hydropower generation potential - 23,000 MW (present 7000 )  401 projects are in different stages of installation on 5 river basins i.e. Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Chenab & Yamuna  Rivers and streams are being diverted from one valley into another, with serious impacts. E.g. 800 MW Parbati-II Project (Kullu), Kashang projects at 3,000 m (10,000 feet) Projects close to China border  From origin of Satluj river (Lake Rakshastal in China) to Kinnaur district (7 km stretch), water runs from one tunnel to another tunnel (run-of-river projects) Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 9. Dams in Chamba District:  NHPC dam was first project in 1980  3 major power projects: Chimera-1, Chimera-2, Chimera-3, Chimera-3 in Ravi basin  117 mini/micro project: MOU for 22 signed; IA for 42 signed  Hul-I is micro-hydroelectric project to produce 3.8 MW on Hul Nala, a tributary of Ravi river in Saal Valley. But actually is of 5 MW, which created debates on micro- classification.  Contractor: M/s Hul Hydro Power, subsidiary of Astha Projects (India) Ltd., Hyderbad Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 10. Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:  On 28 km length of Saal River 7 mini & micro hydel projects are proposed  Dams are said to adversely impact the ecology, geology, socio- economics and culture  Hul-I will disturb approx. 5 km or ¼th of catchment of stream  Oak forest managed by agro-pastoralist Gujjars & Gaddis  Livestock based local economy of pastoralists will be affected severely  As against official figure of 243, about 2000 trees will be cut down Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 11. Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:  Once the construction commences, the resulting disturbance will influence the wild animals to venture into crop fields causing damages  Most damaging effect is the diversion of water, impacting seriously the livelihoods of upstream villages  People of Saal Valley are dependent on Hul Nala for drinking water, irrigation, fishery & water mills (gharats)  Drinking & irrigation water schemes serving 10 gram panchayats will be affected Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 12. Environmental Impacts of Hul-I Project:  Discharge of sources of drinking water supply schemes to villages of Sillagharat, Jadera, Paluhien, Sungal and Kaila Panchayats has already been reduced  Lift Irrigation and Pipeline Scheme to serve from Silla Khud to Koni-ki-Behi gram panchayats will become redundant  With changing climates, water sources are fast drying up. Saal River is only regular water source for villages of 8 gram panchyats and Chamba town.  Hul-I project can kill Hul stream and put present & future uses of water in jeopardy. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 13. Socio-Economic Impacts of Hul-I Project:  6000 people to be affected by Hul-I  1000 people of Jadera and Sillagraht panchyats only  Gujjar and Gaddi nomadic pastoralists are main inhabitants  Livelihood and social impacts would be devastating  50 families have fishing licence on Hul stream; about same number fish with no license  Around 41 water mills will be forced to close down; 1 water mill supports livelihood of 5 families  500 households will pay double for grinding of flour Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 14. Socio-Economic Impacts of Hul-I Project:  Benefits of these power plants will not be going to the community suffering the consequences Power will be sold to private companies and distributed all over India for an incredible profit  Project proponents are paying a small amount as one time compensation, but which is no answer to sustained regular income over the years Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 15. People’s Resistance against Hul-I Project:  Saal Ghaati Bachao Sangharsh Morcha & Himalaya Niti Abhiyan opposing the Hul-I & II projects since 2003  Opposition is due to adverse impacts on forests, irrigation, local livelihoods, drinking water supply schemes and environment.  Jadera Gram Panhcayat has set forth 4 resolutions to the Central Government denying continuation of Hul-I & II projects. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 16. People’s Resistance against Hul-I Project:  Gujjar and Gaddi tribes agitating against Hul-I from diverting the entire flow of Hul stream on which their lives depend.  Series of activities demonstrating people’s resistance and struggle against the dam construction are illustrated chronologically in Annexure-C of paper [16.11.1996 to 04.10.2012]. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 17. Conclusion:  Large-scale negative impacts of dams and inequitable distribution of risks have caused the mobilization and resistance of affected people in the country especially after 1980  Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of Central Government appears not to minimize the environmental & livelihood impacts of even mini & micro hydel projects in fragile mountain ecosystems. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 18. Conclusion:  Micro hydel projects do not seem de facto micro because of their adverse effects on ecosystems and local inhabitants  Despite perpetual resistance of nomadic pastoralists led by Saal Ghati Bachao Sangharsh Morcha and Himalaya Niti Abhiyan the state government is adamant to continue the Hul-I Project in Chamba district. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 19. Conclusion:  People’s rights to water use must be recognized and respected on priority basis.  State should also review Micro-Hydro-Project Policy giving impetus to the impacts on people’s livelihoods, environment, rangelands, irrigation, drinking water and other local/traditional uses of water. Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
  • 20. Thank you very much We appeal for collaborations Environmental and Social Impacts of Hydro-Electric Dams | By H. Arjjumend | Grassroots Institute
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