In the present times, the growth and development of any nation depend on its better and stronger infrastructure, and electric energy is an important component of the infrastructure. Per capita, electricity consumption in any nation is considered as an index of development. India is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of power generation capacity, while it is the sixth-largest consumer of electric power.
Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source where electrical power is derived from the energy of water moving from higher to lower elevations. For the production of hydroelectric power, water is stored at a higher elevation and led downward through large pipes or tunnels to a lower elevation; the difference between these two elevations is known as the head. At the end of its passage down the pipes, the falling water rotates the turbine which turns drive generators and converts the turbines’ mechanical energy into electricity. Because the source of hydroelectric power is water, hydroelectric power plants are usually located on or near a water source. There are many hydroelectric power projects in India that generate electricity. Facilities for energy, irrigation, and tourism sites are obtained by constructing large dams on the rivers’ valleys. Hence these are called multipurpose (multi + purpose) projects.
Hydroelectric Power/Multipurpose Projects of India
Some of the major multipurpose projects in India are as follows:
1. Bhakra Nangal Project
It is the country’s largest multipurpose project on the Sutlej River, on which the world’s highest gravitational dam has been built. The lake built behind this dam is called Govind Sagar. It is a joint multipurpose project of the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
2. Vyas Project
The project is located on the Beas River. The Vyas project is a part of the master plan to use the waters of the three eastern rivers Sutlej, Vyas, and Ravi for irrigation and power generation in an integrated manner. It is a joint multipurpose river valley project of the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. Two dams, Pandoh Dam (Himachal Pradesh) and Pong Dam (Himachal Pradesh) have been built on this project. Rajasthan is not getting any direct benefit from this project, through this water supply to Indira Gandhi Canal is done.
3. Damodar Valley Project
It is the first multipurpose project of independent India. Which has been established by building dams on Damodar and its tributaries Barakar, Konar, and Bokaro. It is based on the ‘Tennessee River Valley Project’ of the United States. It is a joint multipurpose river valley project of 2 states Jharkhand and West Bengal.
4. Hirakund Dam Project
The Hirakund Dam Project is located on the Mahanadi in the state of Orissa. The Hirakund Dam is the longest dam in the world. The length of this dam is 4801 meters, in which 810 million cubic meters of water are stored. Its purpose is to control floods and generate electricity. Hirakund Lake is the largest man-made lake in Asia. There are two separate hydroelectric powerhouses here. Which has a total capacity of 307.5 MW.
5. Chambal Project
The project is situated on the Chambal river, it is a joint multipurpose project of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It is a major river valley project in India. Under this, 4 dams on the Chambal River – Gandhi Sagar (Mandsaur) Madhya Pradesh, Rana Pratap Sagar (Rawatbhata) Chittor, Jawahar Sagar Dam (Bundi), and Kota Barrage (Kota) have been built. It has an irrigation potential of 5 lakh hectares and a hydropower capacity is 386 MW.
6. Tungabhadra Project
The Tungabhadra project is a joint multipurpose river valley project of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The Tungabhadra Dam is on the Bhadra River, a tributary of the Tungabhadra River in the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. It was established in 1965. The height of this dam is 59.13 meters and the length is 1708 meters.
7. Mayurakshi Project
The project is located on the Mayurakshi River in West Bengal. The Mayurakshi Project is a project set up to deal with the terrible floods of the Murshidabad and Birbhum districts of West Bengal.
8. Nagarjuna Sagar Project
The project is located on the Krishna River, it is a joint multipurpose river valley project of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam Project is a major multipurpose river valley project located in the state of Telangana, India, named after the Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna Ji. Nagarjuna Sagar Lake built from this dam is the third-largest man-made lake in the world.
9. Kosi Project
The Kosi project is located on the Kosi river, a joint multipurpose project between Bihar and Nepal. The Kosi river is known for its devastating floods. For this reason, it is also called “Mourning of Bihar”. It was then established under a joint agreement of the Government of India and Nepal in 1954 with a view to controlling and producing hydropower. A 240 km long embankment has been built on both sides for flood control. About 40 MW of power is being generated from this project.
10. Gandak River Project
The Gandak project is a joint project of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The dam has been constructed under this project at a place called Triveni Ghat in Valmiki Nagar (Bihar). This dam is widespread in Bihar and Nepal.
11. Farakka Project
Farakka Dam is a dam on the Ganges River located in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, located just 10 km from the Bangladesh border. It gives water to Farakka Super Thermal Power Station. This dam was built by Hindustan Construction Company in 1985.
12. Kakadapara Project
The Kakadapara project is located on the Tapti River in Gujarat. It is located near Kakrapara, 80 km above the river, Surat. The project is funded by the Government of Gujarat.
13. Rihand Dam Project
The Rihand Dam Project is a major river valley project/hydroelectric power project in India. The Rihand Dam is built by damming the Rihand River between the hills of Pipri in Sonbhadra. It is followed by an artificial lake called Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, which is the largest artificial lake in India.
14. Indira Gandhi Canal Project
The Indira Gandhi Canal Project, (India’s largest canal project) was inaugurated on 31 March 1958 while on 2 November 1984 it was renamed the Indira Gandhi Canal Project. The project is located on the Sutlej River, a joint project between Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana. Rajasthan’s ambitious Indira Gandhi Canal Project is bringing a miraculous change in the desert region. This canal supplies water to Punjab and Rajasthan. The length of this canal is 132 km in Punjab and the length of this canal is 470 km in Rajasthan.