What are the Major Hydro Power Projects in India?

The afforestation helps in avoiding silting’ of dams, lakes, river channels and irrigation canals. Multi­purpose river valley projects often provide for inland water navigation through main rivers and canals. The stored water in the hilly and mountainous tract generally provides high head. The stored water when made to fall from a high head helps in generating power even in dry seasons.

Power derived from running or falling water is known as hydel power or hydro-electricity. It is one of the neatest, cleanest and pollution free forms of energy. Equally important is the fact that hydro-electricity is derived from water which is a renewable resource. Thus in every respect it scores over fossil-fuels which are exhaustible and are the least free from pollution.

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Another economic benefit of these projects is the ideal conditions they provide for development of fisheries. Fish hatcheries and nurseries are developed to stock water bodies with chosen varieties of fish that are allowed to grow to their full.

They are harvested only at regular intervals through controlled fishing. Such well-developed fish farms can be the cheapest source of protein for our people whose diet is otherwise extremely poor in it. Such well cared for and scientifically developed river valley projects become centres of tourist attraction. It is for all these reasons that the multi-purpose river valley projects are called the new temples of modern India.

Bhakra-Nangal Project:

This project was commissioned in 1948 and is the largest multi-purpose project of India. It is located in Himachal Pradesh. It is a joint venture of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Delhi also benefits from it.

1. It consists of two dams the Bhakra and the Nangal. The Bhakra Dam is 518m long and 226 m high, and 312 m in width making it the highest dam in Asia. It is constructed across the Bhakra gorge in the Shivaliks, about 80 kms north of Ambala city.

2. The Nangal Dam is located about 13 kms

Downstream from the Bhakra Dam. Its height is 29 m length 305 m and width 121 m. It is an auxiliary dam and serves as a balance reservoir for the Bhakra Dam. It diverts the excess water into the Nangal Hydel Channel which is 64.4 km long 42.62 m wide and 62.8 m deep.

3. Behind the Bhakra Dam, a very large reservoir known as the Govind Sagar Lake is created with a storage capacity of about 9,868 million cubic metres. It is 88 kms long and 8 kms wide.

4. The Bhakra-Nangal Canal system has about 1,100 km of canals and 3,400 km of distributaries and is designed to irrigate an area of 15 lakh hectares of agricultural land in Punjab (37.7%), Haryana (46.7%) and Rajasthan (15.6%).

5. Under this project there are four power houses (1204 Mw) located at Bhakra, Ganguwal, Nangal and Kotla. Together these powerhouses have the capacity to produce 1204 MW of hydroelectricity.

Electricity is supplied to Punjab, Haryana, parts of Rajasthan and Delhi. It provides electricity for industrial, agricultural and domestic use. Electricity is used to energize tube wells which are the main source of irrigation in areas where canals cannot reach. Haryana is the first state to achieve 100% rural electrification.

6. This project has reduced the occurrence of floods in the river Satluj downstream. It has increased production of food-grains, cotton, sugarcane and oilseeds.

Damodar Valley Project:

This was the first multi-purpose project of Sind undertaken in India soon after independence. It was based on Tennessee Valley Authority of U.S.A. This project is administered by the Damodar Valley Corporation. It consists of a series of dams on the river Damodar, located in Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Damodar is a small tributary which flows into the Hooghly River, a distributary of the Ganga.

This project benefits the region of Bihar and West Bengal which is a rich agricultural and industrial region and one of the richest areas with mineral deposits of coal, iron-ore, manganese and limestone in India.

There are four dams constructed at Maithon dam, constructed on the confluence of Basakar and Damodar rivers, 994 m long and maximum height is 49 m; completed in 1958; capacity is 60 MW, Konar, on Konar river in Hazaribagh; 3549 m long, maximum height 49 m, completed in 1955; supplies electricity to Bokara Steel Project.

Tilaiya its length is 366 m and maximum width is 30 m; is the only concrete dam in the area; has two power station of 2000 MW on Basakar river started in 1950 and and completed in 1953. Panchet dam on Damodar river; completed in 1959; is 254 m long and maximum height is 49 m; generating 40 MW. There are Hydel power stations located at all these dams except the Konar Dam.

In addition to these hydel power stations, there are three thermal power stations at Durgapur, Bokaro and Chandrapur There is a large network of canals, measuring over 2,400 kms that provides irrigation to over 5 lakh hectares in Bihar and West Bengal. This has resulted in increased production of rice and Rabi crops. Its installed power-generating capacity is 1,181 MW.

It is because of the availability of cheap hydroelectricity due to which this region has a high concentration of heavy industries, electro­chemical industries and electrified coal mines in this region.

Cheap transportation is available through a 136 km long navigation-cum-irrigation canal which connects the coal fields of this region with Calcutta. This project has been successful in controlling disastrous floods and has turned the “river of sorrow” into a “river of plenty” and brought agricultural prosperity to this region.

Hirakud Project:

The Hirakud Project, also known as the Mahanadi River Project, is located in the state of Orissa.

1. The main dam, the Hirakud Dam is the world’s longest dam with a length of 61 m high, 4801 m long. It is constructed across the river Mahanadi, 14 km away from Sambalpur.

2. Two other dams are constructed at Tikkarpara and at Niraj near Cuttack.

3. The total length of canals is over 880 kms and has the capacity to irrigate about 10 lakh hectares of agricultural land.

4. There are two power houses the Hirakud Power House and the Chiplima Power House. These two power houses have an installed capacity to generate over 270 MW of electricity.

5. Cheap hydroelectricity has helped in the industrial development of this region. Steel plants and fertilizer plants are a few of the heavy industries located in this region.

6. It is possible to navigate the main canal for over 480 kms to the sea.

Tungabhadra Project:

This project is a joint venture of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

1. The Tungabhadra Dam is located at Mallapuram on the river Tungabhadra, which is a tributary of the Krishna. The dam is 2,441? m long and 50 m high.

2. The project has two canal systems—the left bank canal. It is built in Bellary District of Karnataka which is 225 kms long and the right level canal which is 570 kms long. The right level canal has two branches, the low level canal and the high level canal. Together these canal have the capacity to irrigate about 2.5 lakh hectares of agricultural land.

3. There are two power houses on the right side of the dam, one at Mallapuram and the other at Hampi. Another power station has been constructed on the left side of the dam at Mallapuram. All the three power stations have a total installed capacity of 99 MW.

Rihand Valley Project:

The Rihand Valley Project is the most important multi-purpose project in Uttar Pradesh.

1. It is 934 m long, 92 m high dam on river Rihand (a tributary of Son), near Pipri in Mirzapur.

2. The Rihand Dam is built across the Rihand which is (a tributary of the Son) river. The Rihand is a swift-flowing river with plenty of water during the monsoons but is quite dry during the summer months. The river has its source in the Manipat Hills in Chhattisgarh.

3. The dam, which is 976 m long and 80 m high, is located about 46 kms south of the confluence of the Sone and Rihand rivers near Pipri in Mirzapur district.

4. Behind the dam, a very large reservoir known as Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar Lake is created. It occupies an area of about 468 sq. kms making this the largest artificial reservoir in Asia.

5. Water from the lake is released periodically into the Son River so as to ensure a perennial supply of water for irrigation in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

6. There is one hydel power station located at Pimpri, at the foot of the dam. At Obra, which is not very far from the dam, a thermal power and a hydel power station have been constructed, producing 270 MW of thermal power and about 100,000 KW of hydroelectricity.

7. This scheme has helped in the rapid industrialization of this region rich in mineral wealth. It also makes cheap hydroelectricity available for energizing tube wells.

Farraka Barrage Project:

The main objective of this project was River Navigation and to augment the water flow river is a barrage across the Ganga River, 2,240 in length to maintain 271 akh cusec of flood discharge 60,000 cusec of floodwater flow to be maintained by a barrage across the Bhagirathi river length will be 213 m. A feeder canal 38.38km in length to divert 40,000 cusecs of water to Hugh River Providing infrastructure to develop river navigation and to build a rail cum Road Bridge to connect West Bengal with North East India.

The Farakka Barrage Project is designed to subserve the need of preservation and maintenance of the Calcutta Port by improving the regime and navigability of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system. The principal components of the project are:

1. A 2,240 m long barrage across the Ganga with rail-cum-road Bridge and necessary river training works.

2. A 213 m long barrage across the river Bhagirathi at Jangipur.

3. Navigation works such as locks, lock channels, shelter basins, navigation lights and other infrastructures.

4. Farakka Barrage Hydro Electric Project with a capacity of 125 MW generation, estimated to cost Rs. 602 crore, is under consideration.

Narmada Valley Project:

Also known as Sardar Sarovar Project, the Narmada River Valley project is one of the largest projects under implementation anywhere in the world. It was conceived in 1945-46. It is sponsored by the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. This project is still under construction.

1. The main dam is built across the Narmada River (98% completed). Narmada originates near Amarkantak pleateau (M.R.) and is the fifth largest rivers of India.

2. Two hundred and sixty-three km of canals provide water to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan (90% complete).

3. This project, when complete, will provide irrigation facilities to over 3393 villages in Gujarat, irrigating over 2, 00,000 hectares of land.

4. On completion there will be 2 power houses. The river bed power house will produce 1200 MW and the canal head power house 250 MW. A series of micro hydel power stations are planned on the branch canals where convenient falls are available.

5. The project aims to have 29 major and 3000 small dams.

6. The largest project in Sardar Sarovar project which has the capacity of 77 lakh hectare and will provide irrigation to 17.92 lakh hectare in Gujarat.

7. Second major project is Narmada Sagar project started in 1984.

Indira Gandhi (Rajasthan Canal) Project:

It is an ambitious scheme to bring new areas under irrigation so that new areas could be cultivated. The waters of the Beas and the Ravi (Pong Barrage) had to be diverted to the Satluj.

The Pong Dam on the Beas has been constructed. It impounds 6, 90,000 hectare metres of water. It has helped to divert Beas water into the Satluj in a regulated manner so that Rajasthan Canal, the longest irrigation canal in the world, can irrigate Ganganagar, Bikaner and Jaisalmer districts of north-west Rajasthan.

The Kosi Project:

It was started in 1955 in Bihar and has been taken up in cooperation with Nepal. Its main aim has been to control floods brought by the river Kosi, known as the River of Sorrow of north Bihar; other aims being power generation, land reclamation, fishing and navigation.

It has a capacity to irrigate 8, 73,000 hectares of land in Bihar. The main canal is taken off from Hanumannagar barrage (Nepal) on the Kosi and is 1149 m long, 72 m high, built in 1965. Another important joint venture of India and Nepal is the Gandak Project. Flood embankments, built in 1959, 270 km. Eastern Kosi canal is 43.5 km long and a power house of 20 MW, has been installed which is shared both by India and Nepal.

The Nagarjunasagar Projects:

It is built on the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. It irrigates 8, 67,000 hectares of land. Ancient temples of great architectural value would have been submerged in the man-made reservoir. They were dismantled stone by stone and have been reconstructed as before on a new site. This shows how we can preserve our cultural heritage while adopting modern technology.

The Chambal Project:

It is a joint venture of Bihar and U.P. It helps irrigate parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Its main purpose is soil conservation in the Chambal basin. The project consists of:

i. Gandhi Sagar Dam (64 m high and 514 m long) Chaurisigarh, built in 1960 (Madhya Pradesh)

ii. Rana Partap Masonary Dam which is 56 km from Rawarbhata.

iii. Jawahar Sagar Dam which is 548 m long and 45 m high, built in 1970 in Rajasthan. It has the total capacity to irrigate nearly half a million hectares of land.

The project for harnessing the waters of the mighty Narmada, which originates in Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, envisages the construction of nearly 30 large and more than 3000 small dams. The implementation of this 18,000 crore project has progressed satisfactorily in spite of opposition from the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on the ground that the tribunal oustees were not rehabilitated properly and environmental damages of building such a dam would be huge. Ninety eight percent of the main dam excavation is complete. Work for the main canal Phase I is 90% complete.

In October 2000, the Supreme Court, through a 2:1 split judgement asked the authorities to seek clearance from Environmental and Rehabilitation Authority (ERA) and resume work as per the award of the tribunal.

The dam has a height of 88 m but in 1999 the court gave clearance for increasing it to 90m. The tribunal envisages the maximum height of the dam at 138 m. The significance of the dam height lies in the fact that only if the dam level is above 95 m will the waters of the Narmada reach the drought stricken regions of Saurashtra and Kutch.

Vyas Project (Beas):

1. It is a joint venture of Punjabi, Haryana and Rajasthan.

2. It has two parts, Beas Sutlej link and Pong dam.

3. Beas Sutlej is 61 m high and is in Pandoh (H P), and Pong is 116m, high at Dhauladhar in Pong near Beas.

Ramganga Project:

1. Ramganga is a tributary of Ganga

2. Aim of the project is to provide irrigation facilities to about 6 lakh hectares of land in western U.P, to supply 20 cusecs of drinking water to Delhi and to control the floods in western and central U.P

3. This project includes:

A 625.8m long and 125.6m high earth and rock filled dam across the Ramganga river and a Saddle dam of height 75.6m across the Ghuisot steam near Kalagarh in dist of Garhwal Across the river a 546m long weir at Here oli.

4. A feeder canal, 82km in length originating from Hereoli River Remodelling of 3388km of existing dam and 3880km long new branch canals A powerhouse on the river at its right bank with an installed capacity of 198 MW.

Mayurakshi Project:

1. Mayurakshi is a tributary of the Hooghly River

2. Purpose behind this project is four fold Create irrigation potential Generate power Control floods and Control erosion

3. A barrage is constructed across the Mayurakshi River at Tilpara.

4. Two irrigational canals are attached with the lilpara barrage with total length of 13b7 km and providing irrigation in West Bengal and Bihar 4,000 KW of electricity is supplied to Birbhum, Murshidabad and Santhal Pargana, which is generated by this project.

Pochampad Project:

This irrigation project is the second largest project in Andhra Pradesh.

1. It involves 812m in length and 43m of height masonry dam on the Godavari River in Adilabad district.

2. The storage capacity of the dam is 230.36 cross m3 -A canal of length 112.63km will provide irrigation facilities in Karimnagar and Adilabad districts.

Tehri Dam Project:

1. Alaknanda is the river on which this dam is being constructed in Tehri district of Uttarakhand.

2. Motives behind this project is to collect the flood water of the Bhagirathi and the Bhilangana rivers in a large reservoir behind the dam Hydroelectricity generation, To provide irrigation facilities to agricultural land in the western U.P.

3. Tehri dam has a distinction of highest rock fill dam in the country.

4. 2, 70,000 hectares of agricultural land in western U.P and Delhi with the supply of 300 cusecs is going to be facilitated by this project 2,400 MW is the installed capacity of power generation A concrete dam at Kateshwar, 22km away from the Tehri dam will impound water released by the Tehri dam, from where another 400 MW of electricity will be generated.

Machkund Project:

1. It is a joint venture of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

2. A dam of height 54m and 410 m in length, has been constructed on Machkund River.

3. Project includes a powerhouse with 115 MW as the installed capacity.

Parambikulam Project:

1. This Project is a joint venture of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

2. Under this project 185 MW of electricity will be generated and 1.01 lakh hectare of land will be irrigated.

3. Water of 8 small rivers would be utilized.

Mahi Project:

1. It is on Mahi River, which has its origin in Vindhyas in Dhardis of M P.

2. Is stage 796 m in length and 21m of height dam is being constructed at Banakbori village? This stage also has 74km long canals to irrigate 1.86 hectares of land.

3. 2nd stage construction of a dam of 1,430m in length and 58 m high to irrigation 80,000 of area near kodana.

4. A generation of 40 MW of electricity with irrigation of 2.75 lakh hectares of land is going to be done by this project.

Project Kakrapara Project:

1. Project is in Gujarat on Tapti River.

2. Project involves a dam 14 m high and 621m long.

3. 2.27 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated with the help of two canals of 505 km and 837 km in length.

Koyna Project:

1. In Maharashtra, on Koyna River.

2. Project involves construction of a dam 250 m in height.

Hansdev Bango Project:

1. Project involves construction of a 85m high stone dam on Hansdev river in M.P.

2. It will irrigate 3.28 lakh hectares of land and also be used for industrial purposes.

Bargi Project:

1. It is on river Bargi near Jabalpur in M.P.

2. It is a multipurpose project once completed will irrigate 2.45 lakh hectares of land. 25, Bhima Project.

3. This project includes construction of two dams -One dam on river Pabna near Pune in Maharashtra, which will be 1,319 m long and 42m high.

4. Other dam with a length of 2467m and a height of 56.4m will be constructed on river Krishna in Sholapur district of Maharastra.

India’s water power resources have been estimated at over 40 million kilowatts. The north-eastern India falling largely in the Brahmaputra basin accounts for nearly 30 per cent of our water power resources. Yet another chunk of 30 per cent is widely spread over the rest of the Himalayan lying within the Indian Territory. Half of it belongs to the Indus and her tributaries.

The Ganga and her Himalayan tributaries together with the rivers like Tista and Manas lying further east, claim the remaining half. The remaining 40 per cent is claimed by the rivers of peninsular India. Half of it is attributed to the east flowing rivers rising in the Western Ghats and a quarter each is shared by those small rivers that rise in the Western Ghats and flow into the Arabian Sea, and the rivers of central India.