Damodar River

Damodar River (Pron: /ˈdæmoˌdaː/) is a river flowing across the Indian states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. Rich in mineral resources, the valley is home to large-scale mining and industrial activity. Earlier known as the Sorrow of Bengal[2] because of its ravaging floods in the plains of West Bengal, the Damodar and its tributaries have been somewhat tamed with the construction of several dams. It is the most polluted river of India (by 2003).[3]

Damodar River
Damodar River in the lower reaches of the Chota Nagpur Plateau in dry season
Damodar River in the lower reaches of the Chota Nagpur Plateau in dry season
Damodar Map
Damodar Map
Location
CountryIndia
LocationBokaro, Asansol, Raniganj, Durgapur, Bardhaman
Physical characteristics
Source 
 - locationChandwa, Latehar, Chota Nagpur Plateau, Jharkhand
Mouth 
 - location
Hooghly River, Howrah district, West Bengal
Length592 km (368 mi)
Discharge 
 - average296 m3/s (10,500 cu ft/s)[1]
Basin features
Tributaries 
 - leftBarakar, Konar, Jamunia, Nunia
 - rightSali River (West Bengal)

Etymology

Means "rope around the belly", derived from Sanskrit दाम (dama) "rope" and उदर (udara) "belly". This is another name of the Hindu god Krishna, given to him because his foster-mother tied him to a large urn.[4]

Tributaries

It has a number of tributaries and subtributaries, such as Barakar, Konar, Bokaro, Haharo, Jamunia, Ghari, Guaia, Khadia and Bhera.[4][5] The Damodar and the Barakar trifurcates the Chota Nagpur plateau. The rivers pass through hilly areas with great force, sweeping away whatever lies in their path. Two bridges on the Grand Trunk Road near Barhi in Hazaribagh district were torn down by the Barakar: the great stone bridge in 1913 and the subsequent iron bridge in 1946.[6]

River of Sorrows

The Chota Nagpur Plateau receives an average annual rainfall of around 1,400 mm (55 in), almost all of it in the monsoon months between June and August.[7] The huge volume of water that flows down the Damodar and its tributaries during the monsoons used to be a fury in the upper reaches of the valley. In the lower valley it used to overflow its banks and flood large areas.

Damodar River was earlier known as the "River of Sorrows"[8] as it used to flood many areas of Bardhaman, Hooghly, Howrah and Medinipur districts. Even now the floods sometimes affect the lower Damodar Valley, but the havoc it wreaked in earlier years is now a matter of history.

The floods were virtually an annual ritual. In some years the damage was probably more. Many of the great floods of the Damodar are recorded in history — 1770, 1855, 1866, 1873–74, 1875–76, 1884–85, 1891–92, 1897, 1900, 1907, 1913, 1927, 1930, 1935 and 1943. In four of these floods (1770, 1855, 1913 and 1943) most of Bardhaman town was flooded.

In 1789 an agreement was signed between Maharaja Kirti Chand of Burdwan and the East India Company wherein the Maharaja was asked to pay an additional amount of 193,721 (US$2,700 or £2,100) for the construction and maintenance of embankment to prevent floods. However, these ran into dispute and in 1866 and 1873, The Bengal Embankment Act was passed, transferring the powers to build and maintain embankment to the government.

Damodar River
Krishak Setu over the Damodar River, near Bardhaman

So great was the devastation every year that the floods passed into folklore, as the following Bhadu song testifies:

We have sown the crops in Asar
We will bring Bhadu in Bhadra.
Floods have swollen the Damodar
The sailing boats cannot sail.
O Damodar! We fall at your feet
Reduce the floods a little.
Bhadu will come a year later
Let the boats sail on your surface.
Damodarbksc
The Damodar in its upper reaches

Damodar Valley

The Damodar Valley is spread across Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Koderma, Giridih, Dhanbad, Bokaro and Chatra districts in Jharkhand and Bardhaman and Hooghly districts in West Bengal and partially covers Palamu, Ranchi, Lohardaga and Dumka districts in Jharkhand and Howrah, Bankura and Purulia districts in West Bengal with a command area of 24,235 square kilometres (9,357 sq mi).

The Damodar valley is rich in coal. It is considered as the prime centre of coking coal in the country. Massive deposits are found in the central basin spreading over 2,883 square kilometres (1,113 sq mi). The important coalfields in the basin are Jharia, Raniganj, West Bokaro, East Bokaro, Ramgarh, South Karanpura and North Karanpura.[9]

The Damodar Valley is one of the most industrialised parts of India. Three integrated steel plants (Bokaro, Burnpur and Durgapur) of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and other factories are in the valley.

Damodar Valley Corporation (D.V.C.)

Several dams have been constructed in the valley, for the generation of hydroelectric power. The valley is called “the Ruhr of India”. Damodar Valley Corporation, popularly known as DVC, came into being on July 7, 1948, by an Act of the Constituent Assembly of India (Act No. XIV of 1948) as the first multipurpose river valley project of independent India.[10] It is modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority of the United States.[11]

Rundiha weir
Randihaweir on lower Damodar

The initial focus of the DVC were flood control, irrigation, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, eco-conservation and afforestation, as well as job creation for the socio-economic well-being of the people residing in and around areas affected by DVC projects. However, over the past few decades, power generation has gained priority. Other objectives of the DVC remain part of its primary responsibility. The dams in the valley have a capacity to moderate peak floods of 7,100 to 18,400 cubic metres per second (250,000 to 650,000 cu ft/s). DVC has created irrigation potential of 3,640 square kilometres (1,410 sq mi).

The first dam was built across the Barakar River, a tributary of the Damodar river at Tilaiya in 1953. The second one was built across the Konar River, another tributary of the Damodar river at Konar in 1955. Two dams across the rivers Barakar and Damodar were built at Maithon in 1957 and Panchet in 1958. Both the dams are some 8 kilometres (5 mi) upstream of the confluence point of the rivers. These four major dams are controlled by DVC. Durgapur Barrage was constructed downstream of the four dams in 1955, across the Damodar river at Durgapur in 1955, with head regulators for canals on either side for feeding an extensive system of canals and distributaries.[12][13] In 1978, the government of Bihar (that was before the formation of the state of Jharkhand) constructed the Tenughat Dam across the Damodar river outside the control of DVC.[14] It proposes constructing a dam across the Barakar river at Belpahari in Jharkhand state.[15]

Damodar River Beach Burdwan
Damodar River Beach Burdwan

References

  1. ^ Damodar Basin Station: Rhondia, UNH/GRDC
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-22. Retrieved 2013-10-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Rainwaterharvesting.org".
  4. ^ a b Chattopadhyay, Akkori, Bardhaman Jelar Itihas O Lok Sanskriti (History and Folk lore of Bardhaman District.), (in Bengali), Vol I, pp. 21- 26, Radical Impression. ISBN 81-85459-36-3
  5. ^ Sabharwal, L.R., I.F.S., Conservator of Forests, Bihar, Notes as part of Appendix IV to Report of the Damodar Flood Enquiry Committee, 1943, republished in Rivers of Bengal, a compilation, Vol III, 2002, p. 236, West Bengal District Gazeteers, Government of West Bengal
  6. ^ Houlton, Sir John, Bihar the Heart of India, 1949, p. 117, Orient Longmans Ltd.
  7. ^ "Damodar Valley". About the Region – Damodar Basin. Ministry of Environments and Forests. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  8. ^ Bose, Dr. N.K., The Problems of Damodar, Appendix IV to Report of the Damodar Flood Enquiry Committee, 1943, republished in Rivers of Bengal, a compilation, Vol III, 2002, p. 204
  9. ^ "Mineral Resources and Coal Mining". Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  10. ^ "Damodar Valley Corporation". Infrastructure – DVC Act. Damodar Valley Corporation. Archived from the original on 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  11. ^ "Damodar Valley Corporation". Infrastructure – Formation. Damodar Valley Corporation. Archived from the original on 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  12. ^ "Damodar Valley Corporation". Generation – Overview. Damodar Valley Corporation. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  13. ^ "Damodar Valley Corporation". Generation – Overview – Dams and Barrages. Damodar Valley Corporation. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  14. ^ "The Associated Programme On Flood Management" (PDF). Case Study -- India: Flood Management – Damodar River Basin. World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  15. ^ Dutta, Indrani. "DVC plans to double capacity". The Hindu Business Line 10 March 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-05-25.

Coordinates: 22°17′N 88°05′E / 22.283°N 88.083°E

Barakar River

The Barakar River is the main tributary of the Damodar River in eastern India. Originating near Padma in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand it flows for 225 kilometres (140 mi) across the northern part of the Chota Nagpur Plateau, mostly in a west to east direction, before joining the Damodar near Dishergarh in Asansol, Bardhaman district of West Bengal. It has a catchment area of 6,159 square kilometres (2,378 sq mi). The main tributaries, Barsoti and Usri, flow in from the south and north respectively. Apart from the two main tributaries some fifteen medium or small streams join it.The Barakar skirts the northern portion of Parasnath Hills, 1,350 metres (4,430 ft) above sea level, the highest hill in the region, located in Giridih district of Jharkhand and a centre of Jain pilgrimage.

Damodar Valley Corporation

The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is a governmental organization which operates several power stations in the Damodar River area of West Bengal and Jharkhand states of India. The corporation operates both thermal power stations and hydel power stations under the Ministry of Power, Govt of India. DVC is headquartered in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Damodar railway station

Damodar is a railway station on the Asansol-Tatanagar-Kharagpur line, just east of the Damodar River. It is located in Asansol, Paschim Bardhaman district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Dishergarh

Dishergarh is the south-western neighbourhood in Asansol, in Asansol Sadar subdivision of Paschim Bardhaman district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is situated at the border of the Puruliya district and Paschim Bardhaman district in West Bengal. The Purulia - Barakar State Highway passes through Dishergarh. The neighbourhood is located on the banks of Damodar River.

Durgapur Barrage

Durgapur Barrage is built across the Damodar River at Durgapur in Bankura district and partly in Paschim Bardhaman district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It was constructed by Damodar Valley Corporation mainly for the purpose of irrigation and also to supply water to Industrial township of Durgapur. The irrigation and canal system was transferred to the Government of West Bengal in 1964.

Geography of Bankura district

Geography of Bankura district refers to the geography of the present Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Bankura is one of the districts of Burdwan division. It is situated between 22° 38’ and 23° 38’ north latitude and between 86° 36’ and 87° 46’ east longitude. It has an area of 6,788 square kilometres (2,621 sq mi) On the north and north-east the district is bounded by Bardhaman district, from which it is separated by the Damodar River. On the south-east it is bounded by Hooghly district, on the south by Paschim Medinipur district and on the west by Purulia district.

Jalanpur

Jalanpur is a small village on the bank of the Damodar River in Bankura district, West Bengal, India. This village is just on the other side of Waria Railway station and DTPS. It is under the Banjora Gram Panchyat. It is the last village of Mejia Community development Bloc. In old days this village was once considered as the Sanskrit Learning Station.

Jamunia River

The Jamunia River is a tributary of the Damodar River. It flows through the Hazaribagh, Giridih, Bokaro and Dhanbad districts in the Indian state of Jharkhand.

Konar Dam

Konar dam is the second of the four multi-purpose dams included in the first phase of the Damodar Valley Corporation.. It was constructed across the Konar River, a tributary of the Damodar River in Hazaribagh district in the Indian state of Jharkhand and opened in 1955. The place has scenic beauty and has been developed as a recreational spot.Konar Dam is 4,535 metres (14,879 ft) long and 48.77 metres (160.0 ft) high. The reservoir covers an area of 27.92 km2.

Konar River

The Konar River is a tributary of Damodar River in Hazaribagh and Bokaro districts of the Indian state of Jharkhand.

Madhukunda

Madhukunda is a census village under Bailtora village panchayat of Santuri intermediate panchayat in Purulia district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located on the south bank of Damodar River. It is served by the post office at Sunuri.

Madhukunda railway station

Madhukunda railway station serves Madhukunda, Tiluri village and surrounding areas in Purulia and Bankura districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located on the southern bank of the Damodar and a railway bridge connects it to Damodar railway station.

Mundeswari River

Mundeswari river is a small river in West Bengal which causes floods in Hooghly, Purba Medinipur and Howrah districts during the monsoons. Any discharge above 2,000 cubic metres per second (70,000 cu ft/s) downstream of Durgapur Barrage may cause flooding depending on the outfall condition of the Mundeswari at Harinkhola. It has been suggested that the banks of rivers such as Mundeswari should be protected with embankments to prevent floods.

Nehru Park, Burnpur

Nehru Park is located on the banks of the Damodar River at Burnpur, a neighbourhood in Asansol in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Pakhanna

Pakhanna (or Pokharna) is a village in the Barjora police station area of Bankura Sadar subdivision of Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-east of Susunia, on the south bank of Damodar River.

Panchet Dam

Panchet Dam was the last of the four multi-purpose dams included in the first phase of the Damodar Valley Corporation. It was constructed across the Damodar River at Panchet in Dhanbad district in the Indian state of Jharkhand, and opened in 1959.

Pupunki

Pupunki is a village close to the Damodar River separating the Dhanbad and the Bokaro districts near the NH-32 highway.

The State Bank of India, Pupunki Ghat Bera branch (05781) and Hundai car workshop is present.

Sali River (West Bengal)

Sali River (In Bengali 'শালি') is an important tributary of Damodar River that drains the northern part of Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It originates a few miles west of Kora hill, halfway between Mejia and Bankura, and joins the Damodar at Somsar village in Indas police station. It is a rain-fed river.

Tenughat Dam

Tenughat Dam (Hindi: तेनूघाट बांध) is an earthfill dam with composite masonry cum concrete spillway across the Damodar River at Tenughat in Petarwar block of Bokaro district in the Indian state of Jharkhand.

Damodar Basin
Rivers
Dams, barrages
Geographical features
Riparian districts
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