Renuka Dam Project - Himachal Pradesh, India
Photo by Dong Zhang / Unsplash

Renuka Dam Project - Himachal Pradesh, India

Total Farmland to be diverted for this project: 1231 hectares (approx 3000 acres). Reports say, belong to the 32 different villages of Himachal Pradesh (HP).

· 3 min read

Renuka Dam - Background Context

The central government has signed an agreement or accord with Chief Ministers (CM) of five Indian States to reinitiate the election of the Renuka Dam Project in the Upper Yamuna Basin.

  1. Uttarakhand
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Delhi
  4. Himachal Pradesh
  5. Haryana
  6. Rajasthan
Photo by dharamkot studio / Unsplash

About the Renuka Dam Project

  1. The ambitious Renuka Dam Project is developed primarily to provide a fresh supply of Drinking Water to the national capital Delhi. This scheme attracts construction of 148 meters high and 430 meters wide rock-filled dam, on river Giri at Dadahu in Sirmaur district (Yamuna basin). The secondary idea is to establish a powerhouse at the bottom of the dam.
  2. Perhaps 90% of the project cost will be released by the Centre, and the remaining 10% will be on the shoulders of Himachal Pradesh (HP). The project was expected to get completed in November 2014.
  3. In the year 2010-2011, the Renuka Dam Project was halted by the National Green Tribunal/National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) in pursuance of the objection raised concerning Environment Clearance issued to the construction of the project in the region.
  4. In addition, the project cost was revised and raised from 3500 crores (35000000000) to 5000 crores (50000000000). The actual initiation of the project dates back to the year 1994 when the six states mentioned above reached a mutual agreement and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to utilize and exploit the upper water body of the Yamuna basin, resulting in the construction of ambitious Renuka Dam Project in Sirmour district of Himachal Project. However, according to certain sources, it is said that the project actually dates back to the 60’s era and during that time 40 MegaWatt existing project was not sufficient to provide the required electricity to the concerned masses.
  5. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) mentions, that the state institution HPPCL, will undertake the erection, operations and all-time maintenance of the “Renuka Dam Project” and Centre will be the funding authority. Considering the current situation of the freshwater crisis in “National Capital Delhi”, the supply of “Drinkable Water” to the national capital was the new update added to the project. As of now, the Renuka Dam Project is labeled as “URGENT” to address the water crisis problem in Delhi.
  6. The URGENCY of the Renuka Dam Project raised many eyebrows of the critics and its connection with the water scarcity of the National Capital. Now political entities like UPA and NDA governments are engaged in political promises about, local change and addressing much-needed development in the “Backward Region”.
  7. Land acquisition was much criticized and debated issues associated with the project. Here are certain facts figures in relation to the Renuka Dam Project.
  • Name: Renuka Dam Project
  • River: Giri (Yamuna Basin)
  • Location: Sirmaur District, Himachal Pradesh (HP), India.
  • Site: Dadahu
  • Total Project Area: 1,600 Hectares (land submerged) i.e. Approx 4000 acre
  • Project Stated: 2009
  • Commodities: Water and Electricity
  • Conflicts if any: Water access rights and distribution, Land acquisition, etc.

Land Acquisition Details

  • 909-hectare forestland (this was clearance and approved by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests granted approval in March 2015).
  • Total Farmland to be diverted for this project: 1231 hectares (approx 3000 acres). Reports say, belong to the 32 different villages of Himachal Pradesh (HP).

Forest Land area required

  1. Reserved Forest: 596.06ha (1472 acres)
  2. Protected Forest: 49.94ha (123 acres)
  3. Wild-Life Sanctuary (RF): 49ha (121 acres)
  4. Govt.Deemed Forest: 80 ha (197 acres)
  5. Private Deemed Forest(kism-jungle jhari): 134 ha (331 acres)

Government Departments and Associated Bodies

  1. State Government of Himachal Pradesh (HP).
  2. Delhi Government.
  3. Forest Advisory Committee (FCA)
  4. Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court.
  5. National Green Tribunal
  6. Apex Court of India.
  7. Ministry of Environment of Forest.
  8. Land Acquisition Officer.