Last update:

Sapta Kosi High Dam Multipurpose Project, Nepal


The Kosi River, also known as SaptaKosi, Sapta meaning the number seven, because of its seven tributaries runs through an area of 92,538 km2 (9.253.800 hectares). It is a turbulent river whose frequent floods have caused damage in the State of Bihar, to the point it was nicknamed 'Bihars Sorrow'. During the 1950s, in order to control floods and to use its water for irrigation, India proposed the construction of several dams and embankments on the Kosi River in Nepal. After the floods of 2008,the goverment of India proposed a 289 m. high hydroelectric dam, 3300 MW power, that would submerge a large area.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sapta Kosi High Dam Multipurpose Project, Nepal
State or province:Sagarmatha and Eastern Region
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
Land acquisition conflicts
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity

Project Details and Actors
Project details

The dam is a 269 meter high (883 feet) concrete dam with a capacity of 3,300 MW at a 50 percent load factor. When completed, it is expected to irrigate 300,000 hectares of farm land both in Nepal and the Indian State of Bihar.

See more
Project area:400000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1955
Relevant government actors:Government of Nepal, WECS - Nepal, CWES - Nepal, Water Resources Department - Government of Bihar - India, Ministry of Water Resources Nepal
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:KVSC - Nepal, WAFED - Nepal, NRCS - Nepal, HYPHEN - India - Nepal, International Rivers - USA, SSVK - India
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Global warming, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Malnutrition, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Some people are still waiting for a compensation for 2008 flood.
Development of alternatives:The stop of the dam activity and the restoration of the area, decreasing the floods risks; and an enough compensation for all the affected people by the 2008 flood.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There was a huge flood in 2008 that covers many hectares and produced many damages to Nepal population and Bihar. The new hydroproject would be a response to this.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

[click to view]

Scenarios Report (High)_10 November 09.pdf
[click to view]

[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update08/04/2014
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.