ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Analysis of Socioecological Effects

Small Hydropower Development in Himachal Pradesh

This article tries to understand Himachal Pradesh's experience with promoting privatised small hydropower development. Based on field research conducted in 2012 on all completed small hydropower projects in the state, it examines the implementation of Himachal Pradesh's small hydropower policy and highlights the local social and environmental impacts of small hydropower development. The vast majority of small hydropower projects have generated unmitigated negative effects; employment generation, while significant, is mostly temporary, and uncompensated deaths from construction-related accidents are especially worrying. Insights from this study provide the basis for proposing concrete steps that together could help small run-of-the-river hydropower projects realise their purported, but not realised, benefits.

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