Socio-economic and environmental implications of the hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India


This paper deals with detailed analysis of the fiasco created by the Tehri High Dam in Uttarakhand, India, particularly in terms of resettlement and rehabilitation of the local inhabitants. Aspects pertaining to the environmental issues are also discussed. Currently, the river valleys in Uttarakhand state of India are the targets of increasing hydroelectric projects. Virtually all rivers are being exploited for generating environmental friendly power. Having being learned the hard lesson from Tehri Dam, it has been decided to opt for such schemes in which comparatively little submergence and tempering with the fragile eco-systems is involved. However, our observations suggest that even in such schemes if due care is not taken they may turn out to be a failure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Agrawal, D. P. and Juyal, N. 1984. Himalayan folly. Science Age. Pp. 15–20.

  2. Bandopadhyay, J. 2005. Intervention. Sahara Times 5th Dec 2005.

  3. Bhatt, C. P. 1997. Future of large projects in the Himalaya, PAHAR, Nainital. Pp. 46.

  4. Bhatt, C.P., Juyal, N and Kunwar, M. 1985. Vishnuprayag project: A risky venture in higher Himalaya. In J. S. Singh (ed.): Environmental regeneration in Himalaya, Concept and Strategies. Gyanodya Prakashan, Nainital. Pp. 410–418.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chopra, R. 1997. Water and people, a national perspective. In Nain Singh Memorial Lectures. Center for Development Studies, U. P. Academy of Administration, Nainital. 5. 3–24.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Dhavan, R. K. 1997. Ecology of the Himalayas: a lost heritage and a disappearing culture. In Nain Singh Memorial Lectures. Center for Development Studies, U. P. Academy of Administration, Nainital. 1. 35–57.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Heim, A and Gansser, A. 1939. Central Himalaya: geological observation of the Swiss expedition. Pp. 446.

  8. Kulkarni, A.V. 1992. Mass balance of Himalayan glaciers using AAR and ELA methods. Journal of Glaciology. 38 101–104.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Misra, M. C. 1976. Committees report on sinking of Joshimath, Government of Uttar Pradesh.

  10. Nijampurkar, V.N. and Rao, D.K. 1992. Accumulation and flow rates of ice on Chhota Shigri glacier, Central Himalaya, using radioactive and stable isotopes. Journal of Glaciology 38 43–50.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Owen, L.A., Finkel, R.C. and Caffee, M.W. 2002. A note on the extent of glaciation throughout the Himalaya during the global Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews. 21. 147–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Sati, S. P., Naithani, A. and Geeta Kumari. 1998.-Landslides in Garhwal Himalaya. The Environmentalist 18(3). 249–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Sati, S.P., Kumar Deepak, and Rawat, G. S. 2005. Neotectonic Features and related hazards along Srinagar Thrust in alaknanda Valley, Garhwal Himalaya, U.P.India. Bull. Ind. Geol. Assoc. Spl. Vol. 38(1&2) 53–59.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Sati, S. P., Sundriyal, Y. P. and Rawat, G. S. 2007. Geomorphic indicators of Neotectonic activity around Srinagar (Alaknanda Basin), Uttarakhand. Current Science 92(6). 824–829.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Sundriyal, Y. P., Tripathi, J, Sati, S. P., G. S. Rawat and Srivastav, P. 2007. Landslide dammed lakes in Alaknanda Basin (Lesser Himalaya): Causes and Implication. Current Science 93(4). 568–574.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Sethi, S. 1983. Vishnuprayag project: Blue print for disaster. India Today. November. 30. 42–43.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Shah, R. L. 2006. Sansadhano Ki Ladai Ka Prasthan Bindu Ho Sakta hai Falenda Samjhota. Nanital Samachar. 19.

  18. Valdiya, K.S. 2001. Reactivation of terrain-defining boundary thrusts in central sector of the Himalaya: implications. Current Science 81: 1418–1430.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. P. Sati.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rana, N., Sati, S.P., Sundriyal, Y.P. et al. Socio-economic and environmental implications of the hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India. J. Mt. Sci. 4, 344–353 (2007).

Download citation


  • Hydroelectric project
  • deforestation
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Himalaya
  • Tehri Dam
  • India