Irrigation and Hydropower Projects in West Bengal

This is the eighth topic under the West Bengal Geography Notes for WBCS Module. The links to the previous chapters are listed below:

  1. Introduction to West Bengal Geography
  2. Physiographic divisions of West Bengal
  3. Rivers of West Bengal
  4. Soil and Climate of West Bengal
  5. Mineral Resources of West Bengal
  6. National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in West Bengal
  7. Agriculture in West Bengal

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Irrigation and Hydropower Projects in West Bengal Free PDF Download is provided at the end of this post.

Irrigation and Hydropower Projects in West Bengal

Irrigation Projects in West Bengal

Kangsabati Reservoir Project 

  • Kangsabati Reservoir Project was started in the year 1956-57.
  • Has been created in the districts of Bankura, Midnapore, and Hooghly through this Project.  

Mayurakshi Reservoir Project  

  • Mayurakshi Reservoir Project was taken up for execution in 1951.
  • This Project has been completed in all respects in the year 1985.
  • The irrigation potential created through the completion of this project comes to 2,50,860 ha. in the districts of Birbhum, Murshidabad, and Burdwan.
  • Irrigation water is also supplied to the state of Jharkhand from this reservoir to an area of about 6,000 ha.
  • This Project is adjudged to be one of the best performing irrigation projects in India. The project was planned originally for giving water to Kharif and Boro seasons.
  • The industrial requirement of the Bakreshwar Thermal Power project is also now made from this project.

Damodar Valley Corporation

  • The river Damodar has a basin area of 58,480 sq. km. of which 32,110 sq. km. is in Jharkhand (erstwhile Bihar).
  • A comprehensive program of flood control, irrigation, and power generation were planned under a corporation with the participation of Bihar, West Bengal, and Govt. of India.
  • DVC was formed in 1948.
  • Four dams situated in Jharkhand are complete though the acquisition of some flood storage areas still remains incomplete.
  • The irrigation and canal system of DVC has been handed over to the Govt. of West Bengal in 1964
  • An irrigation potential of 4,83,500 ha., out of its ultimate irrigation potential of 5,10,110 ha. has been created through the project in the districts of Burdwan, Bankura, Hooghly, and Howrah.

Teesta Barrage Project  

  • Teesta Barrage Project is one of the largest irrigation projects not only in West Bengal but also in the entire eastern region. It will create 9.22 lakh ha., of irrigation potential in six northern districts of West Bengal and 67.50 MW of hydropower from canal falls.
  • The Project has three different phases and the Project envisages utilization of the potential of the Teesta River in the field of irrigation hydropower generation, navigation, and flood moderation.

Subarnarekha Barrage Project 

  • A tripartite agreement was concluded between the Governments of undivided Bihar, Orissa, and West Bengal in August 1978 regarding the Subarnarekha River.
  • The infrastructure development program of the project has already been taken up. The project has been proposed for obtaining assistance under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Govt. of India.
  • District- Paschim Medinipur

Midnapore Canal

  • West Bengal happened to be a pioneer in the field of irrigation in India.
  • The earliest one namely Midnapore Canal was taken up in 1866 and irrigation commenced in 1871.
  • The canal originally was part of the Orissa Canal Scheme.
  • It was intended to have a high canal providing a navigational route between Cuttack and Calcutta.
  • The water supply is derived from the river Kangsabati at Mohanpur where there is a regulating weir with headworks and the canal extends to Uluberia on the river Hooghly crossing the Rupnarayan and Damodar rivers en-route.

Hydropower Projects in West Bengal

Jaldhaka Hydel Project

  • Jaldhaka Hydel Project is one of the foremost hydro-electric projects in the country which serves as a bridge to go across Bhutan.
  • The site is encircled by the walls and visitors are required to get approval from the West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) authorities.
  • Moreover, tourists can also visit the forest cottage which is located in Jhalong near the Jaldhaka River.

Massanjore Hydroelectric Project

  • Massanjore Dam is a hydropower generating dam over the Mayurakshi River located at Massanjore near Dumka in the state of Jharkhand, India.
  • The Massanjore dam (also called Canada Dam), across the Mayurakshi, was commissioned in 1955.
  • It was formally inaugurated by Lester B. Pearson, Foreign Minister of Canada. Massanjore dam is about 38 kilometers (24 mi) upstream from Siuri in West Bengal.
  • It is 47 meters (155 ft) high from its base and is 660 meters (2,170 ft) long.
  • The reservoir has an area of 67.4 square kilometers (16,650 acres) when full and has a storage capacity of 620,000,000 cubic meters (500,000-acre ·ft).
  • It cost Rs. 16.10 crore.

Purulia Pumped Storage Project

  • Purulia Pumped Storage Project of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) envisaged 4 units of 224 MW each.
  • This project can generate 900 MW power instantly by discharging stored water from the Upper dam to Lower Dam through a reversible pump-turbine and generator motor.
  • The project located in Ajodhya Hills in Bagmundi village of Purulia district was commissioned in February 2008 and was dedicated to the nation by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal on 6th April 2008.

The Rammam hydroelectric project

  • This project is a run of the river scheme and is located at a distance of about 50 km from Ghoom (Siliguri-Darjeeling road) and 130 km from Siliguri.
  • The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri and the nearest airport is at Bagdogra.
  • The diversion structure is located just downstream at the confluence of Rammam river with Lodhama Khola near Lodhama village and the powerhouse site is located near village Barbatia on the right bank of river Rammam.

Teesta Low Dam IV Hydroelectric Project

  • State-run NHPC’s 160 MW Teesta Low Dam-IV Hydro project in Darjeeling district of West Bengal has become fully operational.
  • The three units of the TLDP-IV project were commissioned on February 14, March 31, and July 1, 2016.

Sidrapong Hydroelectric Power Station 

  • Located at the foothills of Arya Tea Estate 12 km (7.5 mi) from Darjeeling town, is the oldest hydel power station or hydroelectric power plant in India
  • Commissioned on 10 November 1897, its original capacity was 2 × 65 kW, which was expanded in phases for increased demands to a total 1000 kW in 1916.
  • Having reached the limit of the water supply, the machinery was replaced in 1931 for more-efficient triple-phase transmission.

Horticulture of West Bengal

  • With a production of 26.68 m. MT of horticulture produces from an area of 1.78 m. ha., West Bengal is the largest producer of horticultural crops accounting for 9.6% of total horticultural production in the country.
  • West Bengal is the fifth largest producer of guava and accounts for 5.1% of the total production of guava in the country.
  • West Bengal accounts for 2.3% of the total production of mango in the country. 
  • Commercial mango varieties are grown in the State Fazli, Gulabkhas, Himsagar, Kishenbhog, Langra and Bombay Green, Zardalu, Amarpali, Pusa Arunima, Surya.
  • West Bengal is the sixth-largest producer of papaya and accounts for 5.9% of the total production of papaya in the country.
  • West Bengal is the leader in the production of brinjal and accounts for 23.0 of the total production of brinjal in the country.
  • West Bengal is the leader in the production of cabbage and accounts for 24.0% of the total production of cabbage in the country.
  • West Bengal is the leader in the production of cauliflower and accounts for 22.0% of the total production of cauliflower in the country.

Neel Kranti Mission (CSS) is associated with fishing in West Bengal.

Goat is known as ‘Poor man’s cow’ in India and is a very important component in the dryland farming system.

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