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Rampur Hydroelectric Project, HP, India

The first WB project in its re-engagement in the hydropower sector in India after more than ten years of shying away from funding water infrastructure projects in the country, bringing alone international interests and local impacts


The 412 MW Rampur Hydroelectric Project is located near Rampur in Himachal Pradesh on the river Satluj. This run-of-river was first proposed by the Government of India in 2004. The project was granted environment clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2004. Rampur HEP is a public sector venture being executed under the aegis of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL). The company has under execution 10 more hydropower projects in Nepal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and aims to tap 6,000 MW by 2020. The Rampur project is designed as a cascade run of the river plant and will not draw out any water from the river but from the tailrace of Nathpa Jhakri project. NP also owned and operated by SJVNL, and is also one of several mega dam projects in the state.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Rampur Hydroelectric Project, HP, India
State or province:Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh
Location of conflict:Bayal (or Bael, close to Rampur)
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
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The plant's capacity is 412 MW. The project is designed to use water as it leaves the Nathpa Jhakri Hydropower Project. The water is passed down a 15 km head race tunnel with 10.5 meters diameter to the Rampur powerhouse, where it will generate approximately 1,770 million units of electricity a year (World Bank) The generated power will be exported to different states under the NEWNE Grid2 as per the power purchase agreement between the states and the project promoter.

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Project area:81
Level of Investment for the conflictive project670,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:300
Start of the conflict:2004
Company names or state enterprises:Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh Department of Forests, Swedish Energy Agency
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
International Bank For Reconstruction And Development (IBRD)
Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM Executive Board)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:International Rivers,, Himadhara,, SANDRP,, Environmental Protection Village Committee, Rampur
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:SANDRP and International Rivers call for:
• full EIA and EMP be made available to the local people in their language
• facilitation meeting conducted by credible independent agencies must be held in the affected villages to explain to the people the project
• a public hearing be conducted by credible independent panel where no govt officials or political functionaries should be present
Only after this has been done, the project could be considered for environmental clearance
About the CDM, all opponents agree on the fact that such projects should not be considered additional and therefore do not have the basic requirements for being registered as CDM projects.
Carbon Market Watch adds that
• Large Hydro projects of this capacity must no longer receive CDM support.
• Indian projects that are under investigation by the national Green Tribunal must have the LoA, removed by the Designated National Authority until due process is complete.
Local inhabitants claim their compensation rights and also that a minimum and vital amount of water should be released, according to the Indian environmental law.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite national and international mobilization, the construction of the plant is still ongoing and it is still registered as a CDM project.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Indus Water Treaty
[click to view]

World Commission of Dam report
[click to view]

EU Linking Directive
[click to view]

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

CDM Project Design Documentation Form
[click to view]

The Corner House on CDM in India
[click to view]

Rampur Hydroelectric Status Update: March 2014
[click to view]

SJVN's Rampur hydroelectric plant in Himachal starts power generation
[click to view]

(2)International Rivers, The EU Linking Directive
[click to view]

(5)Huff Post Green, World Bank Hydro Project Exposes Blatant Abuse of Climate Funds by Peter Bosshard
[click to view]

(7)Himanshu Thakkars letter of concern to authorities
[click to view]

Projects features by SJVN Limited
[click to view]

Projects features by SJVN Limited
[click to view]

CDM registration
[click to view]

Himanshu Thakkar (SANDRP), open letter to WB director in India - June 2012
[click to view]

SJVN Companys document
[click to view]

(1)Rampur Hydropower Project, The World Bank
[click to view]

[click to view]

(4)Carbon Market Watch
[click to view]

(8)Swedwatch, Criticism of Sweden’s carbon credits purchase
[click to view]

(3)International Rivers, WikiLeaks Puts Integrity of UN Carbon Offsetting Scheme Under Question
[click to view]

Farmers protest against Hydro power project in Himachal
[click to view]

(9) A Short Introduction to the Rampur Hydropower Project, by Ann Kathrin Schneider, International Rivers Network, June 2006
[click to view]

Criticism of Sweden’s-carbon-credits-purchase
[click to view]

Promotional video and article by the World Bank
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

NTDTV, Satluj River Concerns
[click to view]

NTDTV, Hydroelectric Project Draws Protest in Northern India, 2009
[click to view]

Other documents

Recommendations for CEIA Study: Addressing Environmental concerns in Hydroprojects of Satluj Basin. (10) A report prepared by the Panel of Environmental and Social Experts on Satluj basin hydropower projects appointed by the Directorate of Energy, Himachal Pradesh
[click to view]

Other comments:Data regarding affected land and people refer to official World Bank documents, which can be found here:
It states: The resettlement impacts are very moderate, but it will be necessary to devise an appropriate resettlement package in consultation with the affected persons. The project requires about 81 hectares of land, out of which, 32 hectares is private land and the balance is government owned forest-land. It is provisionally estimated that about 215 title-holders will be affected as a result of private land acquisition, and about 20 families will be physically displaced.
Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ICTA - UAB (
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:193
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