Essay on the Important Multipurpose Projects in India


(1) bhakra-nangal project

This is the biggest multipurpose project of India next to Narmada. It was constructed with the co-operation of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Its cost of construction was Rs. 2,380 million.

The dam 518 metre long and 226 metre high was constructed at Bhakra on river Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh.


The Nangal dam in Punjab is only 29 metre high. Here a Canal 63 km long has been constructed. Two power houses-Ganguwal and Kotla have been constructed on Nangal hydel channel.

An artificial lake called Gobind Sagar has been created. This lake accumulates water of R. Sutlej and R. Beas. The capacity of the whole project is 1204 mega watt.

bhakra nangal project

Benefits of Project


(i) Electricity.

The electricity of this project is used in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan for irrigation, factories, domestic consumption, etc.

(ii) Irrigation Water.

The canal water from the project is used for irrigation in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.


(iii) Flood Control.

Floods have been controlled in the Sutlej basin to a large extent.

(2) damodar valley project

This project is implemented for West Bengal and Bihar. The Damodar and its tributary rivers created havoc in a very large area in Bengal and Bihar. This is why these rivers were called ‘Rivers of Sorrow’.


After the completion of the project the floods have been controlled and the water so stored is used to irrigate agricultural land. Now these very rivers have created an environment of peace and prosperity instead of destruction and poverty.

It is a multipurpose project. It controls floods, produces electricity and provides water for irrigation. Besides, it helps fish culture, acts as a source of cheap transport and provides water for the industry. Its capacity is to produce 104 megawatt of electricity.

This project is situated in the mineral zone of India. It is because of this, that the region is one of the leading industrial areas.

Iron and steel, chemicals, textile and various other types of industries have been developed because of electricity from D.VC. Railway tracks, coal mines and house and street lights etc. have been largely benefitted.


(I) River Barakar.

The main dams are Maithon (40,000 kW), BalPahari (20,000 kW) and Tilaiya (60,000 kW). Maithon dam is 56 metres high and Tilaiya is 33 metres high.

(II) River Bokaro.

Bokaro dam is constructed across R. Bokaro with a capacity of 2,200 kW

(III) River Konar.

The main dam is Konar which is in three parts. Konar-1 (10,000 kW), IConar-2 (750 kW), Konar-3 (10,000 kW). The height is about 48 metres.

(IV) River Damodar.

The main dams arcAiyar (45,000 kW), Barmo (18,000 kW) and Panchet (40,000 kW). The Panchet dam is 40 metre high.

The project started in 1968 has been completed since long and has proved to be the life line of Bihar and Jharkhand states.

(3) hirakud dam project

This dam is in Orissa and located at Hirakud reservoir which is fed by river Hasdeo and river Mand, both the tributaries of river Mahanadi. It is situated in Sambalpur district. It is 61 metre high and is 25.4 km long.

It is the longest river dam in the world. The total capacity for hydro-electric production is 1.24 lakhs kW It provides power to aluminium factory of Hirakud, the Iron and Steel Works of Rourkela, Cement factory of Rajgangpur, the paper and textile mills of Brajrajnagar and ferro- manganese factory at Joda.

(4) kosi project – a joint project of India and Nepal

The dams have been constructed south of the junction of the Kosi and the Arun rivers. Capacity 20 MW.

(1) W Kosi Canal: 112 km, irrigates 3 lakh hectares in Darbhanga district of Bihar.

(2) Raj pur Canal: 9.6 km, irrigates Monghyr district of Bihar.

(5) rihand dam project (gobini) vallabh sagar project)

It is biggest hydro-electric project of U.P and is constructed at Pipri, 161 km south of the Mirzapur. R. Rihand is a right bank tributary of R. Sone. It flows in a narrow gorge of hard rocks. The dam is 167 metre high from the river level.

Below the dam there are six generators at Obra. The production capacity is 300 MW The electricity is supplied to the fertilizer factory (Gorakhpur), Tyre-tube factory (Naini), Cement factory (Mirzapur) etc. besides providing power to water pumps and for domestic use.

(6) nagarjunasagar project

It is in A.E on the river Krishna at Nandi Konda Village. It has an installed capacity of 3.5. Lakh kW.

(7) Jog fall electric works (maiiatma gandhi project)

These waterfalls are about 250 metre high on the river Shravati. Two big dams have been constructed. There are three projects in the USA which produce more electricity than that by the Jog falls. The names of these USA projects are.

(i) Niagara, (ii) Grand Coulee, (iii) Hoover.

(8) paykara power project

The Paykara project was constructed across the river Paykara in Tamil Nadu in 1932. The water falls from a height of 945 metres. It has a total capacity of about 1 lakh kW.

It provides hydro-electricity to villages and to urban centres like Madurai, Erode, Tiruchchirappalli, etc. It supplies power to cement factory near Madhukrai, the tea factories of Nilgiri, etc.

(9) mettur power project

Mettur waterfalls are situated on R. Kaveri. A 53-metre high dam called Stanley dam has been constructed. It has a capacity of 2 lakh kW and provides power to steel rolling mills (Nagapattam), cement factory (Dalmiapuram), etc. This is now connected’ with Paykara electric grid.

(10) papanasham power project

In Tirunelveli district (T.N.) the Tamraparni River, a tributary of the Kaveri falls from a height of 110 metres. It has a capacity of about 28,000 kW and the project was started in 1938. It supplies power to Koyalpatti, Madurai and Tuticorin. It is connected to Paykara power grid.

(11) pallivasal power project

It is the river Madirapuja, whose water is used to generate electricity. The power project has a capacity of 50,000 kW.

(12) sholyar power project

The Sholyar river water is dammed and the water falls from a height of 396 metres. Its capacity is 54,000 kW.

(13) subrigiri power project

R. Pamba has a dam 52 metre high while R. Kakivar has a dam 110 metre high. Their respective lengths are 227 and 336 metres. The total capacity is 3 lakh kW.

The electricity generated is used for domestic and industrial purposes.

(14) siiivasamudram power project

The first hydro-electric power project was started in Karnataka on R. Kaveri near Shivasamudram waterfalls. Upstream there is another dam on R.Kaveri called Krishna Sagar dam. Both have a capacity of 42,000 kW.

(15) baramula power project

In J 8c K a 10 metre high waterfall near Baramula is used to produce electricity at Mohra (55 km north of Srinagar).

It can produce 20,000 kW. It provides electricity for houses, offices and small industries.

A powerhouse at Medkhal on a tributary of the Jhelum produces 6,000 kW The power is mainly supplied to Srinagar.

Salal Projects have been completed.

(16) chambal valley project

It is a multipurpose inter-state project, a joint venture of M.P and Rajasthan. The river Chambal has been harnessed for power and irrigation purposes.

The Chambal, a tributary of Yamuna has been notorious for floods. The Chambal Valley has been facing the problem of soil erosion since long.

The main features of the project are:

(i) Three storage dams across the river namely Gandhi Sagar Dam, 8 km downstream of Chaurasigarh Fort in Mandsaur district of M.E, The Rana Partap Sagar Dam 51 km upstream from Kota in Rajasthan and Jawahar Sagar Dam 29 km upstream of Kota city in Rajasthan.

(ii) Kota Barrage near Kota city.

(iii) Power stations at dam sites.

(iv) Canals from the Kota Barrage.

Total generating capacity 386 MW Electricity is supplied to a number of urban centres for different uses.

(17) gandak project

It is a joint venture of Bihar and U.E

The project comprises

(i) A barrage across the Gandak at Balmik Nagar (Bihar).

(ii) Four canals- Two in India and Two in Nepal.

(iii) A power station.

(18) narmada valley project

The Narmada is the fifth largest river in India. It is the longest westward flowing river. The project was conceived in 1945-46. Later it was proposed to construct 29 major, 450 medium and 3000 small dams on the river.

The Sardar Sarover Dam is in Gujarat and Narmada Sagar Dam in M.E both the projects have a command area of 19 lakh h.a. 87% of Narmada basin is in M.E, 1% in Gujarat and 2% in Maharashtra.

The construction of the project shall submerge 480 villages in M.E The project shall generate 3000 MW power and irrigate 19 lakh h.a.

The environmentalists are protesting against raising the height of the dam. Their protest continues even today. There are many other valley projects working in different parts of the country.

Upper ganga canal power projects

There are 13 small waterfalls on the Upper Ganga Canal starting from Haridwar. (Where Ganga enters the plains) to Aligarh. These power houses are (i) Bahadurabad (Bahadurabad and Salempur waterfalls) with the power capacity of 4,400 kW (ii) Pathari in Saharanpur (2 lakh kW), (iii) Mohammedpur (3,000 kW), (iv) Nirjjazni (4,000 kW), (v) Cbittora (3,000 kW), (vi) Saliva, all in Muzaffarnagar, (vii) Ghaziabad (2,700 kW), (viii) Palra in Bullandshahr (6,000 kW) and Sumera in Aligarh (2,000 kW). Most of the power energises tube-wells which irrigate 14 districts of U.P.

tehri dam project

It is a very important project for the production of 1000 M.W of power during stage I and another 1,000 MW on stage II from underground power houses.

The dam was conceived in 1949. It is based on R. Bhagirathi which on joining R. Alaknanda is known as R. Ganga in U.E. The Tehri dam is 260.5 metre high earth- cum-rock fill dam near Badrinath.

The gross storage is to be 2.878 MAF (million acre feet). The reservoir would stretch 43 km upstream. Its catchment area upstream shall be 7.511 sq km. One third of it is snow bound.

The earth-cum-rock fill dam has greater capacity to absorb seismic stresses than a concrete dam of Bhakhra type.

This dam can withstand the earthquake intensity of 7.5 (Richter scale) and the peak ground acceleration of 2.5 g. To create storage for pumping scheme a 103.5 m high concrete dam would be built at Kateshwar which would provide a 23 km long lake. Thus the total Storage Lake would stretch 66 km. Total capacity would be 2400 MW.

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