Gullu Hydroelectric Project, Chhattisgarh, India


Gullu Hydro-electric project is proposed to utilize the flow of the IB river (a tributary to the Mahanadi river) to generate 24 MW electric power. The project site is at Gullu village in the Jashpur district [1]. The company has obtained all necessary clearance including the forest clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forest of State of Chhattisgarh and of Central Government in New Delhi. The project also qualify for funding by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through CDM benefits [2] The protest was started in 2007 once the project was conceived. The major protest against the installation of this hydropower plant intensified in 7th June 2011 in the “Gram Sabha” (Village meeting). Many villagers affected by the project from Gullu, Jhargaon and Chatakpur villages staged strong protest against the authorities and representatives of the concerned company. They raised slogan “Jaan de denge, lekin Jameen nahin! ("we will lay down out life but not land"). During the discussion and agreement with the concerned official from the government and the company, villagers raised their concern that dam will submerge the land of all the affected villages. This will ultimately displace them from their own land [3, 4].

Basic Data
NameGullu Hydroelectric Project, Chhattisgarh, India
SiteVillage – Gullu; District – Jashpur; Town: Kunkuri
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 DetailsA Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has floated to promote hydro power generation in the state of Chhattisgarh. The project is executed with SPV mode by Chhattisgarh Hydro Power LLP which is a subsidiary of Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd. During the project conceptualization, a 3 x 8 MW system configuration was adopted. However, the system configuration will be firmed up after the detailed engineering of the project and there could be a shift to 2 x 12 MW system configurations during project implementation. Electricity generated from the project at 11 kV will be stepped up at an adjacent switch yard to 132 kV. For the purpose of evacuation of power to state grid, a transmission line will be installed up to a proposed substation at Kunkuri town which is located 18 Km from the project site.

According to UNFCCC guidelines, the contribution of the proposed project activity will be able to achieve sustainable development in the following way: As the project is located in the tribal dominated areas road and other infrastructures will be built. Many new employments will be generated. Tribal population will get technical education from the new educational centres. There will be less dependence on fossil fuel. The project will further encourage other private investors to invest in renewable energy generation [1].
Project Area (in hectares)104.454
Level of Investment (in USD)$6,181,573,838.30 (Rs. 10.12 Crore)
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date25/03/2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesChhattisgarh Hydro Power LLP - Project Executer
Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd - Chhattisgarh Hydro Power LLP is a subsidiary of Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd
Relevant government actorsGovernment of India

Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India New Delhi

Chhattisgarh Forest Department

Government of Chhattisgarh
International and Financial InstitutionsUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/CDM (UNFCC) - Financing
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersJal Jungle Jameen Bachao Samiti (Jashpur, Chhattisgarh)

Adivasi Mahila Maha Sangh (Jashpur, Chhattisgarh)

Chhattisgarh Visthapan Virodhi Manch (Statewide Organization Against Displacement)

Janhit People's Legal Resource Centre (Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh)

Udyog Prabhavit Kisan Sangh (Baloda Bazar, Chhattisgarh)

Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha Mazdoor Karykarta Committee (Bhilai, Chhattisgarh)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesThe villagers are not in favor of any project in their land. They argued that “for years they had been able to live in darkness and, therefore, they do not want electricity now at the cost of displacement”. Villagers are specious about the nexus between the company people and the administration. They have the following demands:

1. A new “gram sabha” (village council meeting) should be conducted with prior information so that villagers could be prepared with their demands

2. The detailed project proposal should be provided to the people (in Hindi or another local language).

3. The project experts should call a meeting to explain to villagers the technical nature of the project. For example people should be informed about the place, and the possible environmental impact of the project.

4. People asked for the written commitment for the rehabilitation plan and packages for the displaced families

5. Without the people’s genuine consent land no land will be acquired [4].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The villagers are afraid that with the construction of the dam their land will be under water. Also, their land would also be taken away for the office complex and the residence of about 1,000 plant officials and their employees.

Company officials also was acquiring land by forcefully or cheating people and getting their signatures.

In reply to the agitated villagers, plant representatives assured that the project would not affect that way the villagers are afraid of. Rather electricity power supply and other facilities would be made available in their villages. As a result, development in villages and among villagers would take place and opportunities for employment would be made available [3].

Mobilizers and EJOs opposing the project claim that "While providing a small and almost negligible amount of energy to the national grid, this project hits the weakest members of Indian society the hardest while violating the rights of the Chhattisgarhi tribals as enshrined in Schedule Five of the Constitution of India and the Forest Rights Act (2006). Given the nature of the proposal it would be inappropriate if the project gets validated, registered as CDM activity or gets CERs." (see comments to the Project Design Document)
Sources and Materials

Forest Rights Act 2006
[click to view]

Provisions as to the Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes (FIFTH SCHEDULE)
[click to view]


Comments to the Project Design Document Form
[click to view]

[1] Clean Development Mechanism, Project Design Document Form (CDM-PDD) Version 03 - in effect as of: 28 July 2006
[click to view]


[2] Chhattisgarh Hydropower (P) Limited
[click to view]

[3] Common Protest by Villagers against the Gullu Power Plant, Jashpur District
[click to view]

[4] Comments Regarding Proposed CDM Credits for Gullu Hydro Electric Power (GHEP) Project in Jashpur Block of Chhattisgarh, India
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update26/06/2014