The Dandeli EIA Fraud

27 August, 2000


ESG along with Parisara Samrakshana Kendra, Sirsi, ran a campaign to stop a dam proposed across the Kali River by the Murdeshwar Power Corporation Ltd. (MPCL). ESG exposed Ernst and Young, the international consulting firm, for plagiarising a Rapid Environment Impact Assessment (REIA) of Tattihalla Augmentation Scheme in preparing the REIA of the Dandeli dam in an attempt to secure clearances.

In what was termed as the worst ever scam in the environmental decision making history of India, Indian Express provided front page main coverage to the issue in all their country-wide editions on 27 August 2000, leading to a series of further stories across the world. Forced by such circumstances, the Karnataka Government ordered a fresh EIA for the project.

Despite all the controversy, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) which was commissioned to conduct this study, produced a new EIA within a month. On review this was found to be based on fraudulent data. In a Public Hearing held on the basis of this report on 3rd January 2001, the deposition made by ESG was considered substantive evidence against the TERI report, and the same was requested to be filed on affidavit by the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada District. This file can be accessed along with selections from the plagiarised Ernst and Young report.

Current Situation

  • 23 December 2006 - Forest Clearance for Dandeli Dam rejected once again by GOI: In a significant move, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has stood by its earlier decision of 21 June 2006 to refuse forest clearance to the Dandeli Mini Hydel Project proposed by M/s Murdeshwar Power Corporation (MPCL). MPCL proposed this dam across the Kali River that flows through the mountainous and thickly forested Western Ghats terrain in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Read more.
  • On 21st June 2006, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) rejected forest clearance for the dam. However, in a turn of developments, the Ministry called for a review of this decision on 31st July 2006. In response, ESG submitted a representation to Mr.Sandeep Kumar, IFS, Assistant Inspector General of Forests, MoEF. Representation to Mr.Sandeep Kumar, IFS, Asst. IGF, MoEF; July 31, 2006.
  • Earlier, based on the affidavit filed by Environment Support Group in January 2001 and other recommendations, the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada District rejected the project.


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The affidavit filed by ESG on request of the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka provides a comprehensive examination of the fraud committed by Ernst & Young (EY) and the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) in an attempt to secure clearances for the Dandeli Mini-Hydel Scheme proposed by MPCL. (42KB)

Scanned images of several pages of the EIA for Tattahalli Augmentation scheme and the Ernst & Young Rapid EIA for the Dandeli Mini-Hydel Scheme clearly illustrate the extent of the plagiarism committed by EY. Furthermore, an analysis of TERI's EIA provided by ecologist Dr. Ranjit Daniel is a startling testament to the low quality and shoddy work of the respected Institute in compiling an EIA for this project.

Dandeli Mini Hydel Scheme Rapid EIA1 Tattahalli Augmentation Scheme EIA2
Cover of DMH report Cover of TAS report
Contents - 1, 2
Flora and Fauna in DMH report Flora and Fauna in TAS report
DMH Aquatic Riverline Flora TAS Aquatic Riverline Flora
DMH Dry Deciduous Plants TAS Dry Deciduous Plants
Plants of DMH Upstream Plants of TAS
DMH Plant List continued TAS Plant List continued
DMH Fauna - Aves TAS Fauna - Aves
DMH Faunal Survey TAS Faunal Survey
DMH Aquatic Life TAS Aquatic Life
DMH Sampling Station continued
DMH Water Analysis Table TAS Water Quality
Soil Analysis - DMH Soil - TAS
DMH Catchment Area Treatment TAS Catchment Area Treatment
DMH Concept and Approach TAS Concept and Approach
DMH Tech Background TAS Tech Background
DMH Specific Objective continued
DMH Socio-economic & cultural impact TAS Socio-economic & cultural impact
DMH Population and Literacy TAS Population and Literacy
DMH Rehabilitation and Resettlement TAS Rehabilitation and Resettlement - 1, 2
Prediction of Impact
Environmental Management Plan - 1, 2
DMH Field Findings - 1, 2 TAS Field Findings - 1, 2, 3
DMH Action Plan TAS Action Plan

1. Plagiarised by Ernst & Young

2. Authored by Institute for Catchment Studies and Environmental Management, Bangalore (ICSEM) and BASS Pollution Control Systems Ltd.


Press Releases

Take Action

Appeal to the Chief Minister of Karnataka:

We are enclosing a sample letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. S.M.Krishna. We encourage you to endorse this letter by mailing the Chief Minister (and/or emailing the Chief Minister and marking a copy to the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr. T.R.Baalu, and to ESG). Do encourage your friends and associates to sign and send many more letters.


There are many expenses we incur in organizing these efforts. We rely on your donations to cover part of the cost of this effort. Please do donate generously. All financial contributions (Cheque/DD/MO/Cash) should be in favour of Environment Support Group, and should be send to Environment Support. All monetary contributions benefit from income tax exemptions under Sec 80G of the Income Tax Act.

Your voice in support of the Kali Bachao Andolan will go a long way in supporting the cause of this river.

Environment Support Group,
105, East End 'B' Main Road
Jayanagar 9th Block East
Bangalore - 560069, INDIA
Telefax: 91-80-22441977/26531339

Parisara Samrakshana Kendra,
Hulemalgi Building, Chowkimath,
Sirsi (Uttara Kannada Dt.)
Karnataka 581401
Tel: 91-8384 425139/425039
Fax: 91-4435450/ 427839

Mr. S.M.Krishna,
Chief Minister of Karnataka,
Vidhana Soudha
Bangalore 560001 INDIA

An appeal to save Kali River for posterity

Honourable Chief Minister,

We appeal to you to address the concerns raised by the Kali Bachao Andolan (KBA) formed by several local community organizations and tribal villages to highlight severe threats to the Kali River and protect it for posterity. We appeal that you should take the initiative in ensuring that the Kali is saved for posterity. Please ensure that:

  1. No more dams will be allowed on the Kali.
  2. The serious pollution of the Kali from the Dandeli Paper Mills and other sources is ended immediately.
  3. Illegal sand mining on the Banks of Kali and its tributaries is stopped.

We support the aspirations of the people of Uttara Kannada who want the Kali flowing and alive with life. Not dammed, polluted and dead.


(EMAIL ID, if any)

  1. Shri T.R.Baalu, Union Minister of Environment and Forests,Governemnt of India , Paryavaran Bhavan ,Lodi Road , New Delhi 110 001
  2. Kali Bachao Andolan , C/o ESG or PSK