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Baspa II Hydroelectric Project, HP, India

300MW, the first plant of this size in the private sector, is also one of the main conflictual plants in Kinnaur valley. Workers also join hands with affected communities under the slogan "Kinnaur Bachao"


The project is located on the river Baspa, a tributary of river Satluj in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh; the river originates from Baspa Bamak Glacier of great Himalayan ranges at an elevation of 5800 m. The diversion barrage is located on river Baspa at village Kuppa near Sangla and the power house is located near village Karcham about 800m upstream of the confluence of rivers Satluj and Baspa on NH-22 (Hindustan Tibet Road). Baspa Stage –II project has Karcham-Wangtoo hydel project on its downstream. 300 MW Baspa Stage II Project is the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) project after the Government of India liberalized the power policy by inviting private sector participation for setting up hydropower project on “BOO” basis. Baspa Hydro-electric project stage II (300 MW) is the first plant of this size in the private sector. The MOU was signed with Government of Himachal Pradesh in November, 1991 on "Build, Own and Operate" basis. The plant was fully commissioned on 8th June, 2003 and has since been generating power. In 2014, the plant was bought by JSW, together with Karcham Wangtoo hydroelectric plant for US$1.8 billion.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Baspa II Hydroelectric Project, HP, India
State or province:Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:Close to Sangla town, Kinnaur district
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
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Baspa project is a run-of-the-river hydro-electric power plant with an installed capacity of 300 MW.The diversion barrage of the project is located across river Baspa, one of the major tributaries of river Sutlej, at Kuppa in Himachal Pradesh. The power house is located at Karcham, Kinnur District, Himachal Pradesh. Water is diverted from the barrage to the power house through a diversion barrage. The water is conducted/passed through a head race tunnel of about 7.95 km long and steel lined pressure shaft about 845 meters long to create a design head of 702 meters for running 3 pelton turbines of 100 MW each.

Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) from India
Jaypee Group from India
JSW Energy Limited (JSWEL) from India
Relevant government actors:Directorate of Energy, HPSEB, Government of India and Government of Himachal Pradesh
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Informal workers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, 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, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Workers have died during construction
Proposal and development of alternatives:No clear alternatives to the project have been proposed, as people do not agree with having such large infrastructures in the area. Local farmers earn good living with apple orchards they want to defend.
Workers demanded that 1% royalty be paid to all families of the project affected areas, along with safety measure for them during constructions works and fair wages.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite mobilization for heavy impacts and victims of lack of safety measures during constructions, the project has been commissioned and is operating. Poor compensation given to only some of the entitled families.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Factories Act 1948
[click to view]

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

[5] Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment by Directorate of Energy
[click to view]

[click to view]

[2] EJOLT blog - Himalayan dams: goddamned!
[click to view]

[3] Kinnaur's curse, by Himdhara
[click to view]

[4] Critique of the Cumulative Impact Assessment report of Satluj River Basin, by Himdhara
[click to view]

[6] The Times of India - JPVL seeks permission to sell its two projects
[click to view]

[7] The Economic Times - Jindal Power, Jaiprakash Power among winners of national awards
[click to view]

Jaypee Group webpage
[click to view]

Offsets calculations by Co2blue company
[click to view]

Hydroworld - JSW buys 300-MW Baspa II, 1,091-MW Karcham Wangtoo hydroelectric plants in India for US$1.8 billion
[click to view]

The Tribune - CITU misleading workers, says JP hydro projects MD
[click to view]

Global Energy Observatory on Baspa II
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ICTA-UAB ([email protected])
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2022
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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