The Jalaput Dam is a hydroelectric dam built on the Machkund River, a tributary of the Godavari River in India which rises in the Mudugal hills of Visakhapatnam District and nearby Ondra Gadda it becomes the boundary between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
For over 48 km the river runs nearly north along a meandering course through the Padwa Valley. About 48 km south of Jeypore, it winds westward along the edge of the Plateau and then suddenly tums at a short angle to the south-west down a steep descent popularly known as Duduma Falls.
Jalaput Dam (and Reservoir) impounds 34.273 Tmcft of water for the needs of down stream 120 MW Machkund Hydro-Electric Scheme (MHES), which is in operation since 1955. The dam and the MHES are the joint projects of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states. The existing six power generation units have become old and obsolete compared to latest technology. It is much economical to install a new hydro-electric scheme with a 15 km long tunnel using nearly 400 meters available level drop between Jalaput reservoir and the existing Balimela Reservoir back waters. This reservoir will serve as upper pond and existing Balimela reservoir as tail pond for installing Pumped-storage hydroelectricity units.
Alleging indifferent attitude of the State Government towards their demands, around 3,000 villagers are displaced due to the Jalaput dam in Koraput district. The villagers staged demonstration in front of the Collector’s office over nine-point charter of demands including adequate compensation, rehabilitation, setting up of a lift irrigation and provision for job, water and electricity. There are no facilities for healthcare, electric supply and road communication either. They threatened to boycott elections and relocate to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh if their demands are not fulfilled before the deadline. Palpable tension prevailed as several people displaced for Machhakund Hydro Electric Project 'gheraoed' the office of the project officer in the district over various demands including compensation. Mostly inhabitants of eight blocks of the district staged protest outside the office of project officer.
It is pertinent to mention that it is almost 75 years that the displaced people in the area are not yet provided with compensation. The land dispossessed have also submitted a 9-point charter of demands to the concerned officer . Meanwhile, the locals threatened to intensify their protest if their demands are not fulfilled. “If our demands are not fulfilled within one month, we will not release a single drop of water from the Jalaput dam and will lock the Machkund Hydro Power Project office” said President of Machhkund Reservoir Oustees Association. “Their demands include peripheral development, availability of job, water, electricity and transport. "