Clean water is an indispensable and scarce resource available to every living being on Earth. It is, thus, a responsibility of every individual to save it and use it wisely. Surely, we don’t know how well the other beings on the planet fathom the fact but we, the human race, not just comprehend it but have even undertaken many measures to save this precious ‘commodity’.
One such solution to curb clean water wastage is a dam. What was once built between 2950-2750 B.C. by the ancient Egyptians is now one of the most effective ways to store water for future usage and development of electricity.
While India too has a plethora of dams for water reservation, the Bhakra Nangal Dam stands apart in many ways. Located at the border of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, it is the “second tallest dam in Asia” with an approximate height of 207 meters. It is noteworthy that Bhakra-Nangal was the only dam in Asia with the capability of producing 1500 MW of power in the year 2013.
Here is everything that you should know about the Bhakra-Nangal Dam:
The Dam project was signed by then Punjab Revenue Minister Sir Chhotu Ram in 1944, and it was finalized in January 1945.
However, the construction of the dam came to a sudden halt. It was again resumed after the Independence of India.
The year 1963 saw the completion of the project and in the same year, it was dedicated to the nation by the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
The dam is also one of the earliest river valley development schemes undertaken after India got its freedom.
Characteristics and Features
The Bhakra-Nangal dam is built on the Sutlej River; the capacity of its Gobind Sagar reservoir is 9.34 billion cubic meters. Well, if you are wondering how much water is that then note that this amount of water is enough to flood entire Chandigarh and parts of Punjab, Delhi, and Haryana.
In terms of water storage, Bakhra-Nangal Dam is the second largest reservoir in India. First being the Indira Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh.
Like most of the other dams in the world, the Bakhra-Nangal Dam is primarily used for irrigation. It provides irrigation water to four Indian states, namely Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Furthermore, the dam also provides electricity to these four states. It has ten hydroelectric power generators on each of its sides with the total capacity of 1325 MW.
Apart from its farming and electricity applications, the Bakhra Nangal Dam is also a major attraction among the tourists. It offers ample water sports to rejoice at the Gobind Lake, an artificial lake made on river Sutlej. There is also a wildlife sanctuary nearby for the tourists.
Maintenance and Management
The Bakhra-Nangal Dam is managed by the Bhakra Management Board. Constituted in the year 1966, the body became operational in 1967.
The members of the board are appointed by the Govt. of India and the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Himachal Pradesh.
However, in the year 1976, the body was also entrusted with the responsibility of managing the dams on River Beas. Thus, in the same year, the name of the body was changed to Bhakra Beas Management Board. Along with the Bakhra Nangal Dam, the board now maintains and manages Dehar Hydroelectricity Project, Ganguwal and Kotla Power Station, and Pong Dam.