Dams of India

Dams of India

Dams of India have been built across many perennial rivers since the independence of India. These dams in India are a part of several multi-purpose projects to serve a variety of needs. In a multi-purpose project, a river forms a unit and a river valley is developed, by exploiting all the resources of the river. Basically, dams are built to harness the river water so that it can be utilised according to the needs.

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A multipurpose project is launched often for storing water for irrigation purposes, generating hydro-electricity by utilising the water stored by the dams, preventing floods and facilitating afforestation in the catchments areas of the reservoirs. Moreover, the dams also provide drinking water, using the canals for navigation in some areas and also facilitating pisciculture and recreational activities.

The main multipurpose projects constituting Indian dams are the Hirakud Dam in Orissa, the Bhakra-Nangal Project in Punjab, the Damodar Valley Project in Bihar and West Bengal, the Tungabhadra Project in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the Rihand Project in Uttar Pradesh. Advantages of Dams of India In the year 1947, there were around 300 large dams throughout the country and number gradually increased by 2000 when it reached to almost 4000. India holds a strong position in the list of dam building countries, after US and China.

Primarily some of the dams in India were constructed for the prevention of floods, supplying water for irrigation and generation of electricity. Dam construction is considered as one of the greatest investments in the field of irrigation. Most irrigation dams in India are embankment dams, meaning that they consist of a wall built across a river valley to impound water so as to form a reservoir upstream and a system of spillways and gates to bypass the wall so as to maintain normal river flow and convey water to a network of canals feeding irrigated regions downstream.

The upstream areas that feed the dam and those submerged by its reservoir are called its `catchments` area, and the downstream areas fed by its irrigation canals and are known as the `command` area. Owing to the construction of dams in India, the country`s food grain production increased rapidly over the past few decades. As a result importation rate has also increased tremendously. Disadvantages of Dams of India However, there are also certain disadvantages of dams in India.

Large-scale confiscation of water raises contact to several vector-borne diseases, like filariasis, malaria, schistosomiasis, and river blindness. One particular determinant of construction of dams in India is topographic suitability. River gradient strongly influences the location of dams. Like for instance, a river flowing at comparative positive gradient usually favours irrigation dams; while elevated water levels upstream aid water storage and distraction into irrigation canals. As a result, new dams are likely to be constructed in those areas, which have river flowing at a modest incline.

After one accounts for the impact of the overall higher altitude of the district and the availability of rivers, the gradient of the rivers is unlikely to have a direct impact on changes in agricultural productivity or other district-level outcomes before and after a state builds new dams. Therefore, it is advised to use the variation in dam construction induced by differences in river gradient across districts within Indian states to determine the impact of large dams. Construction of large dams has always been a significant and costly undertaking of the government of India.

The case of large dams recommends strongly that distributional implications of public polices should be integral to any decision. Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have jointly launched the Bhakra-Nangal Project. It is the biggest multi-purpose project in India, started in1948 and completed in 1968. This project derives its name from the two dams Bhakra and Sutlej, built on a tributary of the Indus River, the Sutlej River. Hirakud Dam Project is the first chief multi-use river valley project in India, after its independence.

Constructed across Mahanadi River at about 15 kms upstream of Sambalpur town in Orissa the main dam, the Hirakud is 6 kms from National Highway 6. The Rihand project is one of the most significant multi-purpose projects in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Rihand River flows across a narrow gorge in the Vindhyan mountain ranges in the Mirzapur districtt of Uttar Pradesh. Tungabhadra project is a combined undertaking of the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This dam is 2441 metres in length and 49. 38 metres in height. It is built on Tungabhadra river at Mullapuram (in Bellary district) about 4. 8 kilometres from Hospet.

An important feature of Tungabhadra project is the 11. 6 metres high and 692 metres long barrage built across Damodar at Durgapur. The dams of India have developed the internal navigation by which the pressure on the railways has relieved to some extent. Moreover, these dams have effectively controlled floods on rivers, thus preventing untold damage to the people of the nation. SECOND The Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) project is an initiative of the Indian government to create a national ID for every Indian citizen with the objective of increasing national security, managing citizen identity and facilitating e-governance.

The project was initiated under the Vajpayee, NDA government (circa 2002), which has since been continued by the present UPA government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The project’s importance was underscored by President Abdul Kalam in his 2006 Independence Day eve address to the nation. [1]. After remaining in hibernation for many months, the Government of India has finally issued a notification approving the set up of a National Authority for Unique Identity (NAUID) under the umbrella of the Planning Commission. The relevant press release can be accessed at this link – http://pib. nic. n/release/release. asp? relid=44711 The MNIC project is now integrated with the NAUID project. An empowered group of ministers (EGOM) under the leadership of the external affairs minister, Pranab Mukherjee approved the decision on Tuesday, 4 November 2008. The Department of Information Technology issued a press release confirming the development on Monday, 10 November 2008. The necessity for a centrally issued ID is accentuated by the growing problems of illegal immigrants in various parts of the country. The ID is expected to serve as a unifying document to identify the citizens of India.

The events of 26 November in Mumbai have hastened the set up of the National Authority for Unique Identity. The body was set up on 28 January 2009 [2]. The initial phase of the project is expected to cover nine States and four Union Territories. The UID will be issued to people living in the coastal villages of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The Union Territories of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands shall also be covered in this first phase expected to deliver the identity cards by early 2010.

The Interim budget presented Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on the 16th February 2009 allocated Rs. 100 Crore towards the establishment of the National Authority of Unique Identity under the National Planning Commission. The government has earmarked Rs 100 crore to establish “a comprehensive system of unique identity for the resident population of the country”. “As part of this provision, the Unique Identification Authority of India is being established under the aegis of the Planning Commission,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed Parliament.

The big push happened after the UPA government was re-elected in May 2009. On 25 June 2009, the Manmohan Singh government approved creation of a position of Chairperson UID Authority of India in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. Nandan Nilekani was appointed to this position. Nilekani brings with him the rich experience of creating and leading one of India’s favourite home grown technology organisations, Infosys. Objectives of the NAUID (MNIC) project • Obviate need for multiple documentary proof • Facilitate easy verification Facilitate easy availing of government or private services • Help welfare programmes reach intended beneficiaries • Serve as basis for e-governance services Other purposes of the ID • To prepare a National Population Register (NPR) • To prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) • To prepare National Register of Residency (NRR) – for non-citizens • To provide National Identity Number (NIN) to each person • To provide Multi-purpose National Identity Card (MNIC) to each citizen • To provide Multi-purpose Residency Card to non-citizens


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