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Bajoli Holi Hydroelectric dam, HP, India

One of the "50000 MW hydro power initiative" projects by GMR Energy Limited. After receiving clearances, the company illegally changes construction plans for improving generation capacity, but affecting a largely populated river bank


The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India, with allegedly a view to fill the gap between supply and demand in power is pushing towards the exploitation of maximum hydroelectric potential in the country. As a part of this plan, launched in May 2013 and named "50000 MW hydro power initiative", 162 schemes with probable installed capacity of 50,600 MW and located in various river basins spread over 16 states have to be taken up for preparation of Pre Feasibility Reports (PFRs) in the first phase.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bajoli Holi Hydroelectric dam, HP, India
State or province:Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:Between Bajoli and Nayagram village and about 15 km upstream of Holi town, Chamba district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:REDD/CDM
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Carbon offsets
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The 180 MW Run of the River’ project is located on the River Ravi in the Chamba District of the state. The project envisages the construction of a 66 m high concrete gravity dam near Bajoli village, approximately 950 m downstream of the confluence of Channi nallah and the river Ravi. This proposal would generate 762.98 Gwh in 90% dependable year.

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Project area:76,000 [3] catchment area
Level of Investment for the conflictive project188,000,000 (Rs. 1197.26 Crores at price level of June, 2004 [3]), or 6.66 INR crores for MW
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:around 300 families will lose their land
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:GMR Bajoli Holi Hydropower Private Limited (GBHHPL) from India - Developer of the plant
GMR Group (GMR) from India
GMR Energy Ltd from India
GEODATA Engineering from Italy -
Relevant government actors:Government of HP, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, Forest Advisory Committee, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Holi Ghati Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, local Mahila Mandals (assemblies of women), Himdhara
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Gaddi tribe
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Occupation of construction site by Gaddi women belonging to the local mahila mandals; they had erected a temporary camp to keep the vigil near the construction site. They then started a dharna.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Soil erosion, 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
Other Environmental impactsAll impacts are potential bcz the project has not been completed yet
Other Health impactsAll impacts are potential bcz the project has not been completed yet
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsAll impacts are potential bcz the project has not been completed yet
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Local inhabitants would be open to accept the project only if implemented on the right bank, as previously agreed. They also want fair compensation to be given and measures taken to avoid leakages as occured in Chamera HEP.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
[click to view]

Schedule Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA, 2006)
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Government of India - Ministry of Power - Central Electricity Authority , Preliminary Feasibility Report 2004
[click to view]

EIA for Bajoli-Holi HEP
[click to view]

[click to view]

[2]Case presented at the National Green Tribunal
[click to view]

[4] Down to Earth - Women protesting GMR's hydel project charged with 'inciting communal riots'
[click to view]

[5] India Water Portal - Holi-Bajoli hydropower project shifts banks
[click to view]

[6] HPSEB letter
[click to view]

[click to view]

Half Yearly Compliance Report by GMR Group
[click to view]

Livemint - Liquidity crunch may trip 6 GMR power projects
[click to view]

Women Activism for Environment
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, Himachal Pradesh, India ( and Daniela Del Bene, ICTA - UAB (
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2014
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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