Upper Kolab Dam Displaced Families Demand Proper Rehabilitation in Koraput

Reported by

Sandeep PattnaikLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 24, 2021

Location of Conflict


Khilaput, Koraput, Khaparaput and Kelchagaon


This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Multipurpose Dam



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






Villagers displaced by the Upper Kolab Dam Project in Koraput district of Odisha are demanding better compensation and rehabilitation. The multipurpose project had displaced over 3,000 families when it was constructed four decades ago and the villagers allege they have not been provided with adequate compensation and proper rehabilitation. On February 27, 2018, a public hearing was held where activists demanded proper compensation for the displaced families. The multipurpose dam was built over the River Kolab in Koraput district of Odisha for hydroelectricity and irrigation in the year 1976. It has two main canals; the right one has a command area of 46,049 hectares of agricultural land and the left, 1,936 hectares. It has been reported that over 3,000 families from 57 villages were displaced by this project. About 52 per cent of the affected people are Paraja tribals and 17 percent are Dalits, according to a study by the South Orissa Voluntary Action (SOVA), an NGO in Koraput. Around 100 displaced families were moved to rehabilitation camps and were promised agricultural land, water channelized through the Kolab Dam and community forests. However, the land provided is 1km far from their settlement, the water canal from Kolab Dam is 2km away, in the opposite direction from the agricultural land and no community forests have been provided. After 40 years, the people displaced by the dam are fighting for their right to live with dignity. According to reports, the displaced people have made repeated demands to the President and other authorities for redressal of their grievances under the banner of Upper Kolab Bistapita Sangha (The Upper Kolab Displaced Persons Association). In May 2021, LCW contacted the Executive Engineer of the Upper Kolab Dam Project who said that a petition was sent to the office of the Executive Engineer in April, 2021. In the petition a demand for compensation was filed by the petitioner's. However, according to the Executive Engineer, the office was unable to trace the details of the petitioner's due to lack of supporting documents.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation, Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for more compensation than promised, Demand for better access to common land/resources, Complaint against procedural violations

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

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 promised compensation, Delay in compensation, Violation of LARR Act

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

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:


Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts), Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

The Government of Odisha

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Executive Engineer, Upper Kolab Dam - "I received a petition from the collector last month, regarding compensation. But the people need to submit some documentation, any documentation, otherwise the office will not be able to trace the details of the petitioner's. The departments who were in charge of land acquisition and such, have been removed after the completion of the project so it is difficult to get the exact records now. Also, the people have already been rehabilitated as per official records in several hamlets. Now they are demanding compensation as the price of land has gone up. This is a problem with a lot of the projects, not just this one but almost every project initiated in the 1970's and 80's.

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Sandeep Pattnaik

Reviewed By

Sandeep Pattnaik

Updated By

Sandeep Pattnaik

Edited By

Sandeep PattnaikLand Conflict Watch

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