Socio-economic impacts of Sorang hydroelectric power project in District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Renu Lata, Madhuri. S. Rishi, Naresh Kochhar, Ranjana Sharma


Electricity is one of the key determinants for economic growth of a nation.  Over the past decade or so, hydropower projects (HEP) around the world have attracted much attention concerning the environmental and social impacts that have arisen from such developments. Construction and operations of dams have always been associated with changes in the physical and biological environment. No doubt electricity generation is the need of the hours for development, but the large projects do involve the submersion of forests and the displacement of people. Socio-economic and cultural impacts arising from project construction and environmental transformations are rooted in the complex interactivity between social and biophysical environments. Human communities are integral components of their environment as well as potential agents for environmental change. Hence environmental changes in settled areas are often profoundly interlinked with subsequent changes that occur within society. The interests of local must be listened to and taken care of during the planning and the policy makers must adopt a model or strategies so that the impacts and effects of such type developmental activities can be minimized and local people who are living in the vicinity as well as who have sacrificed their belongings. To maximize the positive impacts and mitigate the negative environmental, social and economic impacts sustainability of water resources projects is required.  This paper refers the perception of the public with regards to the impact of the Sorang HEP and other development activities and need for sustainable development to maintain balance with the environment of hilly and fragile area.

Keywords: Hydropower Projects (HEP), Socio-economic, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Sustainability.

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