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Nakthan Hydroelectricity Project, HP, India

Communities have experienced the ecological drawbacks of the downstream Parbati II project and decided to oppose 520 MW Nakthan. They want to act as guardians of local forests and the spiritually revered Rudernag waterfall


The 520 MW Nakthan Hydroelectricity Project is a Run-of-the-river project proposed in Barshaini Panchayat of District Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. The proposed project will be developed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL), a state government enterprise set up exclusively for power generation in the state. The proposed project will utilise the water of Parbati river (tributary of Beas River) and Tosh stream, and will be located 1 km upstream from its confluence point.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Nakthan Hydroelectricity Project, HP, India
State or province:Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:Barshaini Village, District Kullu
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The 520 MW Nakthan Run-of-the-river Project will have two diversion sites with a common surge shaft and an underground power house on the right bank of the Parvati river with 4 units of 115 MW each. The dam site will be located in Barshaini Panchayat- 1 kms upstream of confluence of Parbati river and Tosh Nallah. Just 1.5 kms downstream of proposed Nakthan dam site is the dam of Parbati II- a project currently under construction. The Diversion Barrage will be located 15 kms upstream of village Barshaini. It will be 13.5 m high and 94.5 m long. It will be located at an altitude of 2963 mts asl. The diversion barrage on Tosh stream would be 12m high and 68.5 m long near Wanschil thach (ridge). The underground power house will be located on right bank of Parvati at an altitude of 2270 msl upstream of Barshaini village. The total length of the head race tunnel is 2.944 kms.

Project area:90.07
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectINR 4508 Crores (approximately 710,000,000)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2 villages to be directly impacted by land acquistion
Company names or state enterprises:Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) from India - Project Developer
Relevant government actors:Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, State Pollution Control Board, Expert Advisory Committee, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Gaon Vikas Samiti, Barshaini
Jan Jangran evam Vikas Samiti, Haripur, (opposed the Haripur Nallah small hydro project)
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Other Environmental impactsSome environmental impacts have been marked visible because many of the ecological and hydrological disruptions have already occurred due to the under construction 800 MW Parbati II hydropower project downstream of proposed Nakthan. The heavy tunneling and blasting in the area for Parbati II and a series of other HEP in the same river, details of which remain ambiguous, have resulted in several problems, foremost being the drying up of natural springs. According to the data supplied by the State Irrigation and Public Health Department, 12 natural springs(chashmas/jahirus) have completely dried up and water discharge has significantly diminished in at least 10 others due to Parbati II. In the downstream valley of Sainj, many of the IPH schemes are failing due to shortage of water. The fear of impacts of high intensity explosions is greater among those residing close to the tunneling sites proposed for 520 MW Nakthan. (Himdhara, March 2014)
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsPotential impacts on tourism services and collection of medicinal plants
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Though the local affected population have intervened effectively at several stages, and managed to sustain their position against its construction, much will now depend on the decision of the EAC. However, the recent decision of the EAC has been positive where it has put the Beas basin CEIA study central to any decision on hydropower projects proposed on the basin.
Sources & Materials

The Majestic Parvati Valley – Paradise Lost
[click to view]

Another hydel project in HP faces religious roadblock
[click to view]

Other documents

Objections to extension of TOR for the 520 MW Nakthan Hydropower Project A memorandum submitted by Gaon Vikas Samiti, Jan Jangran evam Vikas Samiti and Himdhara Environment Collective to the Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects . MoEFCC against the granting of extension on TOR to 520 MW Nakthan hydroelectricity project.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ICTA-UAB ([email protected])
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2025
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