Sharing benefits of hydropower at the local level will expedite energy and water resources development in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand State is richly endowed with hydropower potential of 27,000 MW, which is 18% of the total hydropower potential of India. However, only 3,970.95 MW (14.7%) is currently harnessed. Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL, the state owned hydropower company) declared that development is at a standstill despite the favourable hydropower policies developed by the State and Central Governments. Among many challenges are local level impediments. The present research program found that hydropower projects experienced cost and time overruns due to local agitations and protests. Hydropower developers have few incentives for further investment.