Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Conceived as a multipurpose project in the 1950s, it was completed in 1967. Since then, the project has been upgraded several times but more than 100,000 people remain displaced and their critical voices suppressed with force and violence


The Mangla dam project was conceived as a multipurpose project in the 1950s, and its initial investment and feasibility studies were concluded in 1958 (1). It was the first dam to be built as a part of the Indus Basin Project as per the Indus water treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960. This treaty was signed under the aegis of the World Bank and assigned the three Eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) to India and three Western rivers (Indus, Jhelum & Chenab) to Pakistan (2). The site of the dam is located in the Mirpur district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), also known as Azad Kashmir, which is a supposedly self-governing administrative division of Pakistan, and has been a constant source of territorial conflict over India and Pakistan.

See more...
Basic Data
NameMangla Dam in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
ProvinceAzad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) or Azad Kashmir
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
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe construction of Mangla dam was started in March 1963 and completed in June, 1967. It cost $ 434.505 million and was funded by the mostly by the World Bank with some funding from the Asian Development Bank. It consisted of four embankment dams, two spillways, five power cum irrigation tunnels and a power station with an installed generation capacity of 3360 MW. The main dam was 10,300 feet long and 380 feet high above the riverbed with a reservoir of 97.7 square miles. In 1974, its generation capacity was increased by commissioning two more units each of 100 MW. In 1981, the power generation capacity was further enhanced by installing two additional units, each of 100 MW, which was followed by the construction of two more units in the year 1993-1994 each of 100 MW. The cumulative production from all the ten operating units is 1000 MW.

In 2001, the Musharraf-led Pakistan government announced that the height of the Mangla dam will be raised to increase its live storage capacity and maximize the hydropower potential of river Jhelum. In 2003, the Mangla Dam Raising Project (MDRP) was signed to raise the height of the Mangla reservoir from 1,202 feet to 1,252 feet, giving it an increased capacity of 3.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water (5). It was officially initiated in July 2004 with a project cost of Rs. 96.853 billion. The project was completed in December 2009 with the raised height of dam equal to 30 feet with maximum permissible water level of 1242 feet (above mean sea level).
Project Area (in hectares)25,000-30,000
Level of Investment (in USD)434,505,000 (initial investment)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population150,000-200,000
Start Date01/01/1963
Company Names or State EnterprisesMangla dam contractors from Pakistan - Constructed the dam in 1967
Binnie and Partners from United Kingdom - Project design and supervision for the dam
Relevant government actorsWater and Power Development Authority (, central government of Pakistan, government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
International and Financial InstitutionsThe World Bank
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMirpur Citizens Action Committee, MDRP (Mangla Dam Raising Project) Action Committee of Affected, JKNAP, Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF), Anti-Dam Extension Committee and All Parties National Alliance (APNA).
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), 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-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The people of Mirpur have been displayed twice for this dam, with many families still without land or house. Neither adequate compensation nor proper rehabilitation has been provided.
Sources and Materials

Shekhawat, S., 2009. The Paradox of Irrigation Benefits and Lost Livelihoods: The Mangla Dam. In Beyond Relocation: The Imperative of Sustainable Resettlement, p.354.

Ballard, R., 1991. Kashmir crisis: view from Mirpur. Economic and political weekly, pp.513-517


11. Article about the arrest of protesters.
[click to view]

16. Article about government promises to speed up the rehabilitation process.
[click to view]

4. Newspaper article about the current situation of Mangla dam
[click to view]

10. Article about protest over frequent electricity shortages.
[click to view]

7. Information about the mass migration of people from Mirpur to UK
[click to view]

9. More protest in Mirpur.
[click to view]

1. History of Mangla dam. WAPDA website
[click to view]

12. Article about protesters demanding their long delayed rightful compensation
[click to view]

15. Press release about funding from the USA for Mangla dam in 2014.
[click to view]

13. Article about more mobilization of people for protesting
[click to view]

14. Information about new US funding for renovation of Mangla dam in 2012.
[click to view]

5. History of the protest during the MDRP.
[click to view]

6. Information about human rights violation during the September 2002 protest, where 13 people were arrested and many injured.
[click to view]

2. History of the Mangla dam raising project. Wikipedia entry.
[click to view]

Media Links

History of the Mangla dam project
[click to view]

Other Documents

Mangla Dam Courtesy -
[click to view]

Protest over rise in water levels Picture courtesy-
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update16/03/2017