Tribals in Madhya Pradesh Fear Loss of Livelihood from Morand-Ganjal Irrigation Project

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 26, 2021

Location of Conflict



Khirkiya, Sirali and Rahatgaon tehsils


Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)




Madhya Pradesh



The Morand and Ganjal irrigation projects, proposed in 1972, were approved by the Madhya Pradesh government in 2017. The MorandGanjal Complex Irrigation Project area covers four districts of the state Hoshangabad, Betul, Harda and Khandwa. The project is aimed at benefiting 4,617 hectares of land in 28 villages in Hoshangabad, 17,678 hectares of land in 62 villages in Harsud tehsil in Khandwa and 29,910 hectares of agriculture land in 121 villages in Harda, Khirkiya, Sirali and Rahatgaon tehsils in Harda district. However, the initiation of surveys for land acquisition has led to a fear of loss of livelihood among the Korku tribes inhabiting the area. They have been organising themselves in small collectives to spread awareness about the repercussions of the project. In 2014, a public interest litigation was filed in the Jabalpur High Court on the likelihood of submergence of villages and noncompliance of compensation and rehabilitation rules. This was dismissed by the court on the ground that the project had received the approval of all the concerned authorities, including the environment ministry. (see the PIL attached) According to a media report, 10 villages (four in Hoshangabad, four in Harda and two in Betul districts) are at the risk of submersion by the construction of these dams. Although surveys for acquiring land have begun, nothing has been communicated to the residents about relief and rehabilitation (R&R). The Environment Impact Assessment report for the environmental clearance for the project mentions that the R&R plan will be implemented as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. The report states that this plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and that it is under scrutiny. Harish Sahu of the Synergy Sansthan told in a news report, dated June 2019, that surveying of the area for the project has intensified in the early half of 2019. "As of now, there have been no discussions on the compensation or the rehabilitation of the tribals after the land acquisition for the dam. There are talks that the tribespeople may be given INR 2.5 lakh per acre, however, we want at least Rs. 10 lakh, he added. The tribes have vowed to oppose the project. Previously the region had experienced the displacement of tribal community and loss of natural life for the Punasa dam (also called the Indira Sagar dam).
LCW spoke to Jindagi Bachao Abhiyan on August 8, 2020. They said, "The project has not received any environmental clearance or Stage I forest clearance. The gram sabha has also passed a proposal opposing the project. Despite this, in September 2019, the Narmada Valley Development Authority floated an INR 1,800 crore tender for the construction of the project." A major sitin for five hours was organised by the villagers in December 2019 outside the Harda and Hoshangabad district collector's office to oppose the project.

Region Classification


Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):



Starting Year


Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project, Demand for rehabilitation, Opposition against environmental degradation

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources, Central Water Commission, Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Synergy Sansthan

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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

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