MP Government Scraps Maheshwar Hydropower Project due to Cost Escalation, Pending Rehabilitation

Reported by

Gourav Jaiswal

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016

Updated on

September 2, 2016

Location of Conflict

Jalud

Khargone

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Hydroelectric Project

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

60000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

16178

ha

Starting Year

1993

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Power

The Maheshwar Dam project was proposed in 1978 as part of the Narmada Valley Development project. The Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board was assigned the responsibility of building the dam in 1989. In 1993, the project was awarded to S. Kumars making it the first such privately financed project. The project was estimated to affect over 60,000 people belonging to 61 villages, out of which 21 villages would be completely submerged and another 40 villages would witness the submergence of agricultural land. The people affected by the project were eligible for the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) measures by S. Kumars, entrusted to the MP State Electricity Board. The original schedule to settle the R&R of the first village to be submerged Jalud was by 199798. The R&R was to be awarded according to the 1985 resettlement policy of Madhya Pradesh for Narmada projects. One of the major provisions of the policy was that every landowning family that would lose more than 25 per cent of its land would be entitled to landtoland compensation, with a minimum of five acres and maximum of 20 acres to be provided, and the villages would be resettled as communities. The project was initially stuck due to protests against the impact of the project. In 2010, the construction of the dam was 80 per cent complete, but the rehabilitation was still stuck at 35 per cent, according to the then Union Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh. By 2015, only 20 per cent of the displaced population was compensated. In 2016, the government ordered an enquiry into the operations and mismanagement of the firm that delayed and derailed the project and lead to cost overruns. In 2019, the project was abandoned due to a financial crunch that impacted the R&R work. In April 2020, the state government announced the scrapping of the Maheshwar Dam Project. A senior government official was quoted as saying in a news report, The Power Purchase Agreement required the state government to pay project promoters huge amounts of public money every year for 35 years from the date of the commissioning of the project, whether or not the electricity was purchased by the government. As of March 2021, there was no clarity on the status of displaced people and whether land would be returned to them.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for rehabilitation

Demand for promised compensation

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

4400

Type of investment:

Revised Investment

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Madhya Pradesh Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 1985
Land Acquisition Act, 1894
Section 4 [Publication of preliminary notification]; Section 5A [Hearing of objections to the notification]; Section 6 [Declaration that land is required for a public purpose]; Section 9 [Notice to persons interested]; Section 11 [Enquiry and award by collector]; Section 11A [Collector shall make an award within a period of two years from the date of the publication of the declaration]; Section 15 read with Sections 23 and 24 [Matters to be considered and neglected in determining the amount of compensation]; Section 31 [On making an award under Section 11, the collector shall tender payment of the compensation awarded by him to the persons interested entitled thereto according to the award]; Section 48 [The government shall be at liberty to withdraw from the acquisition of any land of which possession has not been taken but the collector shall determine the amount of compensation due for the damage suffered by the owner in consequence of the notice or of any proceedings there under, and shall pay such amount to the person interested, together with all costs reasonably incurred by him in the prosecution of the proceedings]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 24(2) [In case of land acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, where an award under the said Section 11 has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of this Act but the compensation has not been paid, the said proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed]
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Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Violation of free prior informed consent

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board , Madhya Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (MPSIDC)

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board, Madhya Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Shree Maheshwar Hydro-Electric Power Corporation Limited, Bayernwerk from Germany, Siemens from Germany , PacGen Ogden Corporation from the US, Vereinigten Elektrizittswerke Westfalen AG (VEW) from Germany

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Narmada Bachao Andolan, National Alliance of Peoples Movement, International Rivers

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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