Dammit! – Tehri Dam

A mini series that brings to light the stories of India’s dams 

📍Tehri Dam, Uttarakhand

 टिहरी डैम

टिहरी बांध भारत का सबसे ऊंचा बांध है और उत्तराखंड में स्थित है।

India’s highest dam, the Tehri Dam is a 260.5m tall earth and rock fill dam built over Bhagirathi river with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW. Power generated by this project benefits the states of Uttarkhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. It also supplies Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi with about 250 million gallons of water.

The design of Tehri dam was completed in 1972 but construction after feasibility studies began only in 1978. It was completed only in 2006 due to various financial, social and environmental impacts. There were numerous protests relating to construction of this dam as it would obstruct the natural flow of Bhagirathi river. The reservoir thus created would lead to complete submergence of 24 villages while affecting 88 others, including the town of Tehri.

हमें बांध नहीं चाहिए। बांध पहाड़ का विनाश है। – सुन्दरलाल बहुगुणा

Total cost of building this dam was approximately 1 billion USD. India National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) conducted a cost-benefit analysis which stated that the cost of constructing the dam is about twice the benefits reaped from the project.

Another interesting point to note is that such a huge structure is built on the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap, which is considered to be a vulnerable segment prone to earthquakes. It also implies that impoundment of water in its reservoir is likely to create more pressure and trigger landslides. If an earthquake of very high magnitude breaks the dam, it would lead to submergence of highly productive and populated valleys of Uttarakhand(including Rishikesh and Haridwar),destroying lives, forests and agricultural resources. If a catastrophic event like this occurred, over a million people could lose their lives.

Did you know?

SOURCE: kafaltree.com

The Ghantaghar, which was a symbol of the splendor of the princely state of Tehri during the reign of the monarchy, was submerged as a result of the Tehri dam. It stands proud even after 11 years of drowning in the Tehri Lake.

Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

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