Last update:
2019-01-17

Kuther Hydroelectric Project, HP, India

In the name of energy diversification. JSW Energy group plant adds to India "renewable" potential but leaves one of its main Himalayan rivers dry. People cry out the lack of due information and consultation.


Description:

The Kuther hydel greenfield project is proposed to be developed as a 260 MW run-of-the-river scheme located in the upper reaches of river Ravi. The project is envisaged to harness the head available between villages Kutehr and Kharamukh, both situated along Chamba-Holi road about 70 km and 51 km, respectively, upstream of Chamba. The district, which falls under tribal notified area, is home to many such projects since 1980s when NHPC’s first plant, Baira Suil HEP was constructed. Ravi river has a total catchment area of 5,451 sq. km and its potential capacity has been assessed 2,294 MW. Out of them, 1,038.5 MW has been commissioned so far (early 2015) through four commissioned power projects, i.e. Baira suil (198 MW), Kuther, Chamera-I (540 MW), Chamera-II (300 MW).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kuther Hydroelectric Project, HP, India
Country:India
State or province:Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:village Holi, Tehsil Bharmour, district Chamba
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
REDD/CDM
Specific commodities:Electricity
Carbon offsets
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The diversion barrage on River Ravi shall be located 4 km d/s of village Holi and is accessible through existing Chamba-Holi road.

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Project area:83,000
Level of Investment:191,520,000 INR - 3 million USD at 2009 price [1]
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:30 families [1]
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:JSW Energy Limited (JSWEL) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Himachal Pradesh, Central Energy Authority
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Local consultations have been carried out during a time of the year where local Gaddi shepherds and other groups were not there; for their livelihood, in fact, they move to lower grasslands during the winter months while others migrate to the Kangra valley to escape the cold and be employed in some other activity. The lack of recognition of local conditions, culture, tradition and ecology is a clear socio-environmental injustice.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[4] CDM documentation
[click to view]

[3] Shukla committee report
[click to view]

[1] HPPCL - Executive Summary of Kuther Hydro Electric Project (240 MW), Himachal Pradesh
[click to view]

Haresh Kumar Sharma and Pawan Kumar Rana, Assessing the Impact of Hydroelectric Project construction on the Rivers of District Chamba of Himachal Pradesh in the Northwest Himalaya, India - International Research Journal of Social Sciences
[click to view]

[2] Comments by Himdhara on CDM benefits
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Himdhara
[click to view]

[5] Tribune India - Kuther power project allotment cancelled
[click to view]

The Economic Times - JSW Energy Project gets forest clearance
[click to view]

[6] NDTV Profit - JSW Energy Q2 Profit Rises 96 Per Cent to Rs 318.63 Crore
[click to view]

Other documents

JSW logo
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ICTA-UAB (d.delbene-at-gmail.com)
Last update17/01/2019
Comments
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