Koyna Dam is a rubble-concrete dam which is built on the Koyna River and originates from Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in the Sahyadris Mountain Range. The key objective of the dam in Maharashtra is to supply hydroelectricity to the neighbouring regions along with providing some irrigational facilities.
Koyna dam supplies water to western Maharashtra, as well as cheap hydroelectric power to the neighbouring areas with a capacity of 1,920 MW through the Koyna Hydroelectric Project. The Koyna project is actually includes four dams, with the Koyna dam having the largest catchments area.
The catchments area of the Koyna Dam blocks up the Koyna River and creates the Shivaji Lake, which is roughly 50 km long. Completed in 1963, it is amongst the chief civil engineering projects built after the independence of India.
The Koyna electricity project is operated by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board. Most of the generators are located in excavated caves a kilometre deep, inside the heart of the surrounding hills. The Koyna dam is prone to the epidemic of earthquakes in the recent past.
In 1967, a shocking earthquake almost devastated the dam. Unfortunately, the dam developed major cracks. The cracks were later repaired and holes were created internally to relieve the hydrostatic pressures in the dam. In 2006, the dam was further developed to strengthen the spillway. Now it is believed that Koyna dam is strong enough to withstand any further earthquake. Moreover, Geologists are conducting studies, if the Koyna Dam is responsible for the rise in seismic activity in the region.
Currently the Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the leading hydroelectric power plant in the country which is already complete. Koyna dam is widely considered as the life line of the state of Maharashtra as the dam has the potential for generating electricity and consists of 1,920 MW of total installed capacity. The dam also attracts several tourists through out the year due to its natural and beautiful surroundings.
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