Little known information on the 8 major Multipurpose Projects in India revealed


1. Chakra-Nangal multipurpose project:

The Bhakra-Nangal Project, a joint venture of the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan is the laree-est. multipurpose project in India as well as one of the largest projects in the world. It comprises the Chakra Dam across the Sutlej River in Himachal Pradesh and the Nan gal Barrage at Nangal in Pun jab.

The Bhakra Dam, 518 meters long and 226 meters high is the highest straight gravity dam in the world, creating a vast reservoir named Govind Sagar. The Nangal Barrage, 305 meters long and 29 meters high is 13 kms below the Chakra Dam. It serves as a balancing reservoir and directs the river water into the 64 kms long and 44 meters deep Nangal Hydel Channel (or, power channel) which supplies water to the Chakra main canal along with generating hydro-electricity. This power channel joins the Sutlej River downstream near an annicut. From that annicut the Bist Doab Canal and the Sir hind Canal rise in the right and left banks of the river respectively. It is one of the largest irrigation projects of the world. Irrigation is done in extensive areas or’ Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan by this project.


2. Hirakud multipurpose river project:

The Hirakud Dam has been built across the Mahanadi at Hirakud near Jabalpur. It has manifold utility of flood control, irrigation, hydro-electricity generation etc. The length of the dam (61 metre high concrete dam with earthen dam on both the flanks of the reservoir) is about 25 kms and the reservoir covers an area of 750 sq. kms it is the longest river dam in the world. This project irrigates about 10 lakh hectares of land. It has an installed power capacity of 270 mega watts, which helps in the industrial development of Orissa.

3. Damodar (multipurpose) valley project:

In the past the Damodar River was called the “Sorrow of Bengal” owing to its devastating floods. But now it is considered as one of the famous multipurpose projects of India. As many as four dams have been, built across the Damodar and its two tributaries named the Konar and the Barakar, for the unified development of irrigation, flood control and power generation in West Bengal and Bihar. This project is managed by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC). The chief features of this project include multipurpose storage dams at Tilaiya, Konar, Maithor and Panchet Hill.


4. Kisi multipurpose project:

The Kisi was once called the “Sorrow of Bihar”. The constructional features of the project comprise a barrage across the Kisi near Hanuman Nagar on the Indo-Nepal border, flood embankments on both sides of the river that save both Bihar and Nepal from the ravages of flood in an extensive area. The Eastern Kisi Canal rises from the Hanuman Nagar barrage. The other two long canals are the Western Kisi Canal and the Rajpur Canal serving both Bihar and Nepal. The main objectives of this project are irrigation, flood control and power generation, the benefits of which are being shared by Bihar and the neighboring kingdom of Nepal.

5. Tungabhadra multipurpose project:

The chief objectives of this multipurpose project are irrigation and power. It is jointly executed by the States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the river Tungabhadra, a tributary of the Krishna. A 50 metre high dam has been built at Hospet of Karnataka. There are 3 power houses and 3 main canals under this project for power generation and irrigation. The benefits of the project are shared by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.


6. Nagarjuna Sagar multipurpose project:

A 124 metre high masonry dam has been built across the river Krishna of Andhra Pradesh. The reservoir created there is known as Nagarjuna Sagar. Two main canals and a power house are under the project. It helps in the development of agriculture and industry in Andhra Pradesh.

7. Farakka barrage project:

This project is being carried out in three stages in order to raise the water level of the river Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganga for the effectiveness of the port of Calcutta, The 3 stages are such as (a) a barrage across the Ganga at Farakka of Murshidabad district, (b) an annicut across the river Bhagirathi near Jangipur. And (c) a 43 km. long canal has been dug; connect­ing the Baraka Barrage in the upstream to convey water to the Bhagirathi below the annicut at Jangipur.


As a result of this provision, steamers can ply conveniently from Calcutta to Patna all the year round and some areas of the districts of Nadia and Murshidabad are irrigated. Above all, the Calcutta Port works efficiently as more water flows in the Hooghly by this canal.

8. Rajasthan Canal project:

This project is a bold venture to bring irrigation to north-western Rajasthan which is a part of the Thar Desert the Rajasthan Main Canal takes off from the Pong Dam of the Beas River, a tributary of the Indus (Sindhu). Its total length is 467 kms. Two branch canals take off from this long canal and help in irrigating some areas of Punjab and Haryana.

Besides these projects, there are many small and big multipurpose projects in India. Some such projects are noted below with the names of rivers and the States benefited by them.


(i) Beas Project (confluence of the Beas and the Sutlej) – Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

(ii) Chambal Project (the Chambal) – Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

(iii) Sone Barrage Project (the Sone) – Bihar,

(iv) Gander Project (the Gander) – Bihar and U.P. States and Nepal.

(v) Kakrapara Project (the Tapti) – Gujarat.

(vi) Koyana Project (the Koyana) – Maharastra.

(vii) Malaprabha Project (the Malaprabha, a tributary of the Krishna) – Karnataka.

(viii) Periyar Project (the Periyar) – Kerala.

(ix) Rihand Project (the Rihand) – Uttar Pradesh.

(x) Mayurakshi Project (the Mayurakshi) – West Bengal.

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