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The Hydel Power Project and the agitation

The Times of India

Sanjay Ojha 2013/06/05

The Koel-Karo Hydel Power Project began in 1957 and was shelved in 2003 after resistance from people of Khunti district’s Torpa block in Jharkhand. Trouble began when locals got to know that the project would lead to acquisition of 113 villages and displacement of over a lakh people. The project would have submerged around 55,000 acres, of which 25,000 acres were farmland. Tribals resisted. They feared large-scale social and cultural displacement. Two dams were to be built and connected with a tunnel. The agitation ran for more than two decades before the project was scrapped. The Jharkhand electricity board now wants to revive the project, but they plan to generate 300MW instead of 710MW. This would mean a smaller dam, less submergence, minimum displacement. Principal secretary, state energy department, Vimal Kirti Singh confirmed the development.

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