Mandira Dam, Rourkela, Orissa, India


The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) constructed a dam for the water supply to the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) during the early 1950’s. The dam was built on the river Shankha near Rourkela, Orissa. This dam was conceptualized along with the Rourkela Steel Plant.

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Basic Data
NameMandira Dam, Rourkela, Orissa, India
SiteKuanrmunda, Rourkela
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMandira Dam Project was planned in 1957-58 and constructed on Shankha river near Rourkela. The original plan of the dam was to supply water to Rourkela Steel Plant located nearby. For the about project 11,923.98 acres of land was acquired, and an estimated 941 families of 31 villages were uprooted or displaced [2]
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population5,000-10,000
Start Date1957
Company Names or State Enterprises Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Orissa, Government of Germany
International and Financial InstitutionsGerman Development Bank KfW (KfW) from Germany
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersDisplaced Persons' Conference Organising Committee, Rourkela, Orissa, ASHRA, Sarini, Adivasi-Koordination in Germany
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationPublic campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Development of AlternativesAccording to Adivasi-Kooperation's report:

"The expectations and demands expressed in the interviews are most notably directed at the responsible Indian institutions and concern the fulfillment of the promises made during the construction phase of the steel plant. These include:

- the provision of a job in the factory for at least one member of each displaced family;

- receipt of compensation still outstanding for the loss of their land (adequately regarding size and quality), as well as

- the urgent demarcation of the already allocated land.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The dam was built and now serves the steel plant. Compensation measures have been only partially met.
Sources and Materials

The Land Acquisition Act of 1894
[click to view]

Forest Rights Act 2006
[click to view]


An Assessment of the ROURKELA STEEL PLANT (RSP), INDIA, Environics Trust
[click to view]

[4] Development-induced Displacement, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in India: Current Issues and Challenges (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series) Edited by Sakarama Somayaji and Smrithi Talwar
[click to view]

[1] Rajat Kumar Kujur Underdevelopment and Naxal Movement, Economic and Political Weekly February 18, 2006
[click to view]

"Rourkela – Socio-economic problems of a development project”, by Jan Bodo Sperling, in: Adivasis of Rourkela, sarini Occ.Papers No 4,

Bhubaneswar 2006, p. 75ff.


[2] 50 Years and More Struggle for Justice at Rourkela, Proceedings of the Convention of Displaced Persons "Livelihood or Survival" at Nav Jagriti, Kalunga (near Rourkela) on 6th and 7th March, 2010
[click to view]

[3] Testimonies from Rourkela
[click to view]

German Development Bank, India: Modernisation of Rourkela Steel Plant
[click to view]

Other Documents

View on the Dam Mandira Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra&Daniela Del Bene
Last update01/07/2014