Last update:

Machhakund Hydro Electric Project, Orissa, India


Machhakund (or Machkund) Hydroelectric Project is located near Duduma Falls between the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa Border. It is a collaborative project of Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of Odisha [1]. The Maharaja of Jeypore conceived the idea of a dam in 1928. Although the planning for the project started in 1930’s, the actual displacement began in the late 1940s. As the project was started before independence no proper records for the displacement and rehabilitation are available. Also, the concept of rehabilitation was not evolved at that time [2].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Machhakund Hydro Electric Project, Orissa, India
State or province:Orissa
Location of conflict:Block- Lamptaput, District- Koraput
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project is located on the western slopes of the Eastern Ghats near the well-known Duduma falls (Duduma Falls is famous tourist site) on Machkund River. The Hydro Power Plant has a design capacity of 120 MW. It has 6 unit(s) under operation (3 x 23 MW + 3 x 17 MW). The project was established in 1945 as a joint venture project between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. At that time sum of Rs 18 crore was invested in the project. Among the total expenditure Orissa had invested about Rs 6 crore, Andhra Pradesh invested around Rs 12 crore. The first unit was commissioned in 1955 and the last unit was installed in 1959. The plant is operated by Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation and Orissa Hydropower Corporation Limited. As per the Inter-State Agreement, both Andhra Pradesh and Orissa share the expenditure and power in the ratio of 70:30 respectively [1, 4, 5].In an agreement signed between two states in 2008 it was decided that the power will be equally shared between the two states [6].

Level of Investment:3,045,345 (18 Crores)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:not known
Start of the conflict:28/11/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation
Orissa Hydropower Corporation Limited from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Andhra Pradesh, Government of Orissa
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Dalita Sangh
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The protestors’ demands include electricity and construction of roads and schools in the area. They said that will not allow the power plant to function until their demands were met [3]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As the project and the displacement phenomenon are quite old no record of displacement is available. However, according to different sources [Mahapatra 1990:861 cited in William Stanley 1996] about 2,938 families were displaced by the project. Many of them were allocated in Dandakaranya area around Malkangiri. Perhaps the displaced persons of Machhakund Hydro Electric Project were got better offer in terms of similar kind and measurement of land [2].
In the latest conflict, the power generated from the Machhakund Hydro Electric Project is lighting many villages in both Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The villages lysing at the periphery of the dam and the power plat are yet to get the electricity. The area has also very little developed. Hence villagers demand is justified [3]
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[2] Machkund, Upper Kolab and NALCO Projects in Koraput District, Orissa by William Stanley Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 31, No. 24, Jun. 15, 1996 Page 1533 of 1533-1538
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[6] The Economic Time
[click to view]

[3] Villagers disrupt power generation from Machhakund
[click to view]

[1] MACHKUND HE project (AP, Odisha)
[click to view]

[6] Orissa, Andhra to share Machkund hydel unit power
[click to view]

[4] Machkund project to be discussed with Andhra
[click to view]

[5]Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update09/01/2019
Related conflicts
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.