Development of Run-of-the-River Hydropower Projects in North-Western Himalayan Region of India: A Study about their Environmental Sustainability

Tanveer Kaur, Rajeev Kumar

Abstract


Himachal Pradesh is endowed with an estimated hydro power potential of 27,436 MW which is 25% of the national hydropower potential. The Government of India has embarked on a task of constructing several categories of large and small dams in the Himalayas region with an aim to double the hydro power capacity by 2030. The mighty Indian Himalayas will have the highest dam densities on an average in the entire world, if the dams are constructed at this pace. As compared to the multipurpose hydropower projects, RoR i.e run-of-the-river hydropower projects are considered more environmentally sustainable. However construction of such projects has an inherent risk of degradation of eco-system, loss of flora and fauna and associated changes in climatic pattern in this fragile mountain range of the world. This research paper aims to study the public perception on the environmental sustainability of large and small run-of-the-river hydropower projects in the North Western region of the Himalayas. Based on the analysis of primary data pertaining to the intangible impacts and secondary data on tangible impacts collated during the study on the environmental sustainability of these projects, it is concluded that the consequential impact on environment from small projects is no less significant as compared to environmental impact from large projects.

 


Keywords


Run-of-the-River Hydro Project; Sustainability; Large Hydropower Projects; North Western Himalayas; Beas Basin; Environmental Pollution; Himachal Pradesh

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