All about Bodhghat Hydro Power Project in Chhattisgarh
Why in News?
Bodhghat Project is a multipurpose hydro project in Chhattisgarh to which the centre has given its consent. In May 2020, the central government provided its consent to begin the first phase of this project which is the survey. It is being undertaken by the state government of Chhattisgarh.
About the project:
- The project, which is estimated to cost Rs 22,000 crore
- It is most likely to generate 300 megawatts (MW) of hydel power
- The project needs a dam to be constructed close to Barsoor village in Dantewada which would help in irrigation of 3,66,580 hectares (ha) of farmland.
- The area is Maoist affected situated in Dantewada, Bijapur, and Sukma districts.
- WAPCOS Limited has been entrusted with the responsibility of the survey, research and obtaining the required approvals from the ministries involved in the project.
Objections against the project: Environmental concerns
- Environmentalists have raised the objection to Chhatisgarh governments survey conductance and also over the building of the multipurpose Bodhghat project on the Indravati river.
- The dam is to be constructed on Indravati river near Barsur village, Geedam development block in Dantewada district which is 100 km from Jagdapur district headquarters.
- Activists are raising issues about the displacement of the tribal communities. Many activities like Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan have questioned the viability of the project.
- Bastar also is enlisted as a fifth schedule area and is under special protection under the constitution.
- The idea is that tribal people do not lose their land and also must get rehabilitation land in case of displacement.
- 43 villages and 5704 hectares of forests would be submerged once the project is implemented
- Also, 5010 hectares of private land and 3068 hectares if government land would be submerged
- The forests would face the loss of economy as agriculture, fishing and herding would be destroyed.
- The project would also affect the ecology of Indravati Tiger Reserve, Bhairamgarh Wild Buffalo Sanctuary and other surrounding habitats of Indian Wild Buffalo
- Fish are also affected by the area as the dams block the fish from moving along the natural pathways between feeding and spawning grounds
Background of the project:
- The project had got the environmental nod in 1979 for the generation of hydro-power. At that time this area lied under an undivided Madhya Pradesh, MP.
- The work could not start because the then government was under the impression that the venture was not suitable for the tribal-dominated people of Bastar.
- After 20 years of dormancy, the project has been modified into an irrigation project with the aims of providing water to thousands of parched Bastar villages.
- The Bodhghat irrigation project aims to cover 72% of arable land in Bastar in a major fillip to agriculture activities
Latest update on the project
The pre-feasibility report of the Bodhghat project has been given the in-principle nod by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, and the Central Water Commission. The survey of the project and the detailed project report generation would be done at a rapid pace now.
It is expected that now within the next 8-9 months there would be an effort to carry forward the construction work by preparation of the survey research and DPR of the project. The project is now also included in the Budget of the Water Resources Department.