The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set the ball rolling to transfer hundreds of hectares of ecofragile forestland for the construction of the Ujh multipurpose project (hydropower, irrigation and drinking) in Jammus Kathua district. The geographyaltering project is being constructed on Ujh, a tributary of the Ravi river. The project has got Stage 1 clearance. We (forest department) will divert over 680 hectares of land while the rest is state and private land, K. Ramesh Kumar, chief conservator of forests, Jammu, told the media. Over two lakh trees have been marked by field officers in Billawar, Kathua and Samba forest divisions that will be axed to pave way for the ambitious project, the Government of Indias forest advisory committee noted in a 2020 report. The project received recommendation for environmental and forest clearances in December 2020 from expert panels of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Professor R.K. Ganjoo, who teaches at the Department of Geology in the University of Jammu, explains that forests act as a sink for excess carbon in the atmosphere. Extensive deforestation disturbs the carbon cycle, which leads to climate change, he said. The project is likely to displace around 3,700 families in 52 villages, based on numbers from the 2011 Census. The two villages of Dharalta and Dungara will be completely submerged. The project site is located 10 kilometres from the Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary, home to some critically endangered species. Environmentalists and activists have voiced their concerns about the Ujh project. There will be ecological and microclimate changes due to the denuding of forests. In the coming years, people will face a lot of problems during summer. Besides the loss of forest cover, it will also gravely impact wildlife, Avtar Singh from the Department of Geology/Remote Sensing & GIS at the University of Jammu, told the media.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Opposition against environmental degradation, Refusal to give up land for the project
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Forest department; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; Samba district administration
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Other
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Violation of environmental laws, Non-implementation/violation of the FRA
Out of Court
Name(s) of Court(s)
Nature of Protest
Media based activism/alternative media
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?