Damodar River - Informative & researched article on Damodar River
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Home > Reference > Geography of India > Resources in India > Water Resources in India > Indian Rivers > Inland Drainage Basin > Damodar River
Damodar River
The Damodar River is a prominent river in India arising near the Chandwa village in Palmau district of Jharkhand.
More on Damodar River (5 Articles)
 Damodar RiverThe Damodar River originates in the Palamau district of Jharkhand near Chandwa village. The origin of Damodar River is in the Chota Nagpur Plateau region of India. The river flows through the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal for nearly five hundred and ninety two kilometers and then merges with the Hooghly River, which is in the south west of Kolkata.

The Damodar River has a number of tributaries and distributaries. They are Barakar, Konar, Guaia, Jamania, Usri, Bokaro, Haharo, Khadia and Bhera. The Barakar is the most important and the only tributary of the Damodar River. This River arises near Padma in Hazaribagh district, flows through Jharkhand, and meets the Damodar River in Dishergarh in West Bengal.

The river used to flow through Bengal in yesteryears, from west to east course and then it joined the Hooghly River at a spot near Kalna. Gradually, the river has changed its course and now most of the water in its lower reaches falls into the Mundeswari River. The Mundeswari River combines with other rivers and ultimately most of the water of the Damodar River flows into the Rupnarayan River. The residual water flows through the Damodar into the Hooghly, located at the south of Kolkata. Earlier the Damodar River was referred to as River of Sorrow in Bengal as it used to flood the Bardhaman, Hooghly, Howrah and Medinipur districts of West Bengal, which led to huge destruction of life and property. Even today the floods sometimes distress the lower Damodar Valley but the chaos it brought about in earlier years. However, after building the dams this flood factor has become a matter of history.

Pollution of Damodar River is one of the grave concerns of the Bengal authorities. The Damodar is the most polluted river in India today due the several industries that have sprouted on its mineral-rich banks. There are too many coal-based industries that are been build the Damodar valley. Other industries are mostly government-owned coal washeries, coke oven plants, which are the country's major iron and steel plants and thermal power plants. Zinc, glass and cement plants also cover wide areas along the riverbanks.

The overburden of mine effluents, fly ash, oil, toxic metals and coal dust caused the pollution. Defective mining practices, outdated processing practices and lack of proper maintenance were compounded by corruption, inadequate pollution control and a state pollution control board that did nothing. The people living in the basin are slowly being poisoned because the Damodar and its tributaries is the only source of drinking water for most people living in the area. However, the governmental measures have brought significant changes in the status of the river for the past years.

The geology of Damodar River indicate heavy metal concentrations at various zones of the river. At two sites in Damodar river near mining areas, the coarser particles show similar or even higher heavy metal concentrations than the finer ones.

Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is based on the Tenesse Valley Authority of the United States of America. This project benefits the states of West Bengal and Bihar. An important feature of this project is the 692 metres long and 11.6 metres high barrage constructed across the Damodar at Durgapur. Panchet dam, Farakka Barrage, Tilaiya Dam and Konar Dam are the dams at River Damodar.

The tributary of Damodar River is one of the most ferocious and voluminous rivers of Eastern India - River Barakar, which begins near Padma in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand and flows for 225 km across the northern part of the Chota Nagpur plateau.

(Last Updated on : 10/09/2010)
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