Damodar Valley Project is the first multipurpose river valley project of independent India. This project is handled by Damodar Valley Corporation. It was launched on Damodar River
. The plan of this project was based on Tenesse Valley Authority of United States of America. This project benefits two states that are Bihar
and West Bengal
. It is 692 metres long and 11.6 metres high barrage that was constructed across Damodar River. The right and the left bank canal that are starting off from this barrage are mainly used for irrigation and navigation purposes.
The Damodar Valley Corporation or DVC as it is commonly known is considered to be the first independent and versatile river valley project of the country. It started to function on 7th of July, 1948 with the help of an Act of the Constituent Assembly of India. In the beginning, the main focus of Damodar Valley Corporation was to prevent flood, assist irrigation, and production, transmission and supply of electricity, afforestation and eco-conservation as well as to provide job for the social and economic well being people living in and around the places affected by the formation of the projects. The project has given much priority to generation of power and the rest of the objectives of this project still remain as a part of its principal responsibility.
The Damodar valley project constitutes three thermal power houses at Durgapur
and Chandrapur district
. The Tilaiya dam is a part of this project which was constructed across the river Barakar. River Barakar is the main tributary of the River Damodar. This dam is 30 metres in height and 366 metres long. Another dam by the name of Konar dam is also an integral part of this project which is situated in the district of Hazaribagh district
across Konar River, a tributary of Damodar River. This dam has a height of 49 metres and a length of 3548 metres. Maithon dam is also a part of Damodar Valley Project and was constructed over River Barakar. The aim of this dam is to control flood. It is 94 metres in height and 144 metres in length. Another dam, which is also a part of the Damodar valley project, is the Panchet Hill dam. This dam is 2545 metres in length and the height of this dam is 45 metres. The Panchet Hill dam is built over the River Damodar in Dhanbad district.
The Damodar valley corporation has under its operation four coal based thermal power stations, three hydel power stations and one gas turbine station. DVC`s network of four dams, one barrage and a canal, checks floods and facilitates irrigation. Activities like watershed managing and other allied tasks are performed occasionally. Watershed management chiefly constitutes controlling soil erosion and augmenting the life span of DVC reservoirs by curtailing the flow of debris that lead to silt deposition. Planting trees, building check dams, rehabilitating denuded forests, managing the soil, protecting or reviving the land are some of the main tasks of Damodar Valley Corporation.
Benefits of Damodar Valley Project
There are several benefits from the Damodar valley project. The project constructed dams and thermal power stations which help in controlling flood and providing electricity respectively. Large hectares of land are irrigated in the districts of Hooghly
, Howrah District
, Burdwan and Bankura District
of West Bengal as a result of the construction of dams by the Damodar valley project. The project has also opened doors for transportation through canals. Soil erosion is also being checked by this corporation and it also works in the direction of plantation. Anti-malaria drive is also undertaken by the Damodar valley project, so that the people living close to the project are not affected by this disease.
The Damodar valley project covers an area of about 24,235 square kilometers. There are the districts of Hazaribagh district, Giridih district
, Koderma district
and a few portions of Ranchi District
, Palamau district
, Dumka district
and Lohardaga district
. The project`s lower valley comprises of the Hooghly and Bardhaman district
and some places of Bankura
, Howrah and Purulia district in West Bengal