Villagers Oppose Construction of Bursar Dam in Jammu's Kishtwar

Reported by

Mir FarhatLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

September 27, 2021

Location of Conflict



Reason or Cause of Conflict

Hydroelectric Project


National Park


People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year



Jammu and Kashmir



NHPC Limited, formerly known as National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, is planning Bursar Hydroelectric Project, an 800 MW power project on Marusudar river the main tributary of River Chenab in Kishtwar district. Upon completion, the project will submerge seven villages, which have a population of 6,332, comprising 1,052 families. The coalition government of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party had earmarked Rs 211.41 crore for Resettlement and Rehabilitation of the affected people. The storage project is the first of its kind under the Indus Waters Treaty,1960. The stored water is intended to be used for additional power generation during lean flow months. The project was announced in 2016 as a national project and resistance against it started in October 2017, after the NHPC officials and the District Development Commissioner of Kishtwar visited the affected villages. In April 2018, residents of the projectaffected villages organized themselves under the banner of PakalBursar Dam Committee. Thousands marched towards Marwah raising slogans against the construction of the dam and the power project. They did not want to give up their land, on which they grow maize, rice, pulses and walnuts. A hunger strike was also held by the Marwah Bachao Tehreek. They objected to the readjustment of forest park boundaries by the Department of Forest, Environment & Ecology, J&K, in 2015 for the project. In March 2020, a hunger strike was initiated again, to mark resistance against the project. However, due to the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, the strike had to be cancelled along with all other protests. The movement, according to a video published in 2021, carries on.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project, Opposition against environmental degradation, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

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

Environmental Laws, Central/State Government Policy, Other

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:

Violation of LARR Act, Controversial land acquisition by the government , Not conducting the Social impact assessment properly

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)

Supreme Court of India

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

Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media), Hunger strikes, Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmit, Ministry of Environment and Forests

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:

NHPC Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Pakal-Bursar Dam Committee

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

Mir Farhat

Reviewed By

Mir Farhat

Updated By

Mir Farhat

Edited By

Mir FarhatLand Conflict Watch

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