SANDRP JAN. MARCH 2008
The Disappearing Ganga: Is there any hope for this HOLY River?
What this diagram tells us, among many other things, is that between Gangotri and Haridwar, there will be no flowing river as we know it, if all these projects come up.
In the map on next page, we have shown the path of the Bhagirathi River, considered to be the origin of the Holy Ganga River. We have also shown the available information about the existing, under construction and proposed dams and hydropower projects on this river.
Many of these hydropower projects are so called run of the river projects. What it means is that large stretches of river will be flowing through underground tunnels for these projects and we have shown such stretches of river going underground by dashed lines. These stretches of rivers would disappear as far as the people on the banks and others interested in seeing rivers are concerned.
We can also see that the
backwater of the Tehri reservoir goes quite far upstream of the Maneri
Bhali-2 tail race tunnel. Similarly the back waters of the Koteshwar touches
the upstream Tehri Dam and back waters of the Kotli Bhel 1A touches the
Koteshwar and so on. On Bhilangana side too the backwater of the Tehri
reservoir would go upstream of the tail race tunnel of the Bhilangana-1
This situation is not unique of Bhagirathi, it is also not the only or necessarily the most important of the issues concerning the dams, hydropower and the rivers. A number of other rivers like the Sutlej, Ravi, Teesta, Alaknanda, Pabbar, Tons, etc are going to have the same fate. But considering the cultural and religious significance of Ganga and Bhagirathi, it may be worth noting the fate of this river that our rulers have decided.
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