International Journal of Social Science and Humanities
2020, Vol. 2, Issue 2
Hydroelectric power project and its impact on livelihood of tribes: A case study of holi tehsil of district Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India
Pawan K Attri, Rupal Sood Diksha kumari, Aman Kumar
The hydroelectric projects in hilly areas have attracted attention concern about social and environmental impacts. The objective of this study is socio economic impact of Bajoli Holi H.E. Project (180MW) in Chamba district. It has affected tribal lives in many ways such as migration of large population, change in land use pattern, loss of agricultural activities, deforestation, damage to water resources and biodiversity. The survey revealed that 57% Respondents as showing resulted as highest percentage of strongly unfavorable reaction about the hydro project in this tribal area as they told they didn’t get promised compensation by the project company as well as their family members who got job in this project are now fired without any reason. Whereas 11% people showed favorable response towards this as they think this will develop the conditions of their village in every sector like job, transportation, income sources etc. 94% responded with yes for the great increase in risk of landslides, 89% of population responded as that project construction has destroyed wildlife including both flora and fauna. While 88% of people agreed they have threat of earthquake as well increase in landslides during monsoon. An increase in dust level, air pollution and in noise level due to drilling and blasting. 81-85% people responded there is loss of agricultural land, impact on ground water and destroys of grasslands. Whereas 80% people feel that confliction of migrant workers is also a negative impact. The positive impact in villages was employment generation but most of the jobs that local people worked for were short term, whereas positive impact also seen in the field of roads, health and education. The negative impacts included agricultural loss with poor plant growth and water scarcity due to project development lead to shortage for irrigation as well as drinking purposes. Tree mortality and landslides were common features in most of the villages with vibrations caused by drilling and blasting during construction of reservoir will definitely affect riverine ecosystem and aquatic life. No doubt hydropower projects have made an important contribution to the human but such developments had significant impacts on local livelihood and the environment. The local issues must be taken into consideration. The policies should be framed by accurate examination of local sites so that the proportionate balance between biotic and its components of the environment can be maintained and the potential capacity of rivers can be utilized properly.