Ministries agree to allow 7 Himalayan hydel projects.

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News: The Union Environment Ministry has recommended the to complete the 7 hydropower projects in the upper Ganga in Uttarakhand. These Projects were stalled by the Supreme Court due to the tragic Kedarnath incident in 2013 which killed over 5000 people. Read more news here.

What’s Important for UPSC:

The background of why the projects were stalled in the first place becomes important. Study about the Kedarnath tragedy of 2013 where due to cloud burst there were heavy rains which caused a landslide. This incident killed over 5000 people and many are still missing.

In places like Kedarnath, where there was a visible large-scale catastrophe, the government allowing the halted hydropower projects has invited a lot of criticism. Moreover, hydropower projects require large lands and have a direct impact on the environment, meaning it can directly lead to land slides and flash floods.

UPSC aspirants should know the projects and where their locations are. It can be asked in Prelims 2021 or 2022 because it will draw further criticism from environmentalists and opposition. So, this becomes an important topic for Prelims as well as Mains.

The seven (7) Hydropower projects in Uttarakhand are:

  1. Vishnugad Pipalkoti (444 MW) on Alaknanda river;
  2. Tapovan Vishnugad (520 MW) on Dhauliganga river;
  3. Singoli Bhatwari (99 MW) on Mandakini river;
  4. Phata-Buyong (76 MW) on Mandakini river;
  5. Tehri Stage II (1000 MW) on Bhagirathi river;
  6. Madhyamaheshwar (15 MW) on Madhmaheshwar Ganga; and
  7. Kaliganga II (4.5 MW) on Kaliganga river.

Effects of Hydropower Projects in the Himalayas:

Impact on Cleanliness of Ganga: The Union Government has maintained that the cleanliness of Ganga was premised on minimum levels of water flow in all seasons and the proposed projects could hinder this.

Climate Change:

  • Glacier melt and permafrost thaw.
  • glacial melt leads to global warming.
  • increased instances of cloudbursts.

Hydropower Projects In Uttarakhand:

S.No.Project YearInstalled
Capacity, MW
1.Yamuna Hydroelectric Project Stage-I
(Dakpathar Barrage, Dhakrani, Dhalipur Power House)
2.Yamuna Hydroelectric Project Stage-II Part 1
(Ichari Dam and Chhibro Power House)
3.Yamuna Hydroelectric Project Stage-II Part-2
(Khodri Power House)
4.Yamuna Hydroelectric Project Stage-IV Part 1
(Asan Barrage and Kulhal Power House)
5.Yamuna Hydroelectric Project Stage-IV Part 2
(Khara Hydroelectric Project)
6.Chilla Hydroelectric Project1981144
7.Maneri Bhali Hydroelectric Project Stage-I198490
8.Ramganga Project, Kalagarh1976198


Match the following

   Set I

a. Tungabhadra Project

b. Tehri Dam Project

c. Subarnarekha Project

d. Sharavati Project

   Set II

1. Located near the Gersoppa falls

2. Jharkhand‎, ‎Odisha‎, ‎West Bengal 

3. River Bhagirithi

4. Joint undertaking by the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka


    a   b    c     d

A. 1   2    3     4

B. 4   3    1     2

C. 4   3    2     1

D. 4   1    3     2

Ans: C

Explanation: The correct matching is given below:

Tungabhadra Project: It is joint undertaking by the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Tehri Dam Project: The World’s fifth and Asia’s largest hydroelectric project has been constructed on river Bhagirithi, a tributary of Ganga in Tehri district of Uttaranchal.

Subarnarekha project: It is a joint project of Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. The project involves construction of Chandil dam and Galudih barrage on river Subernrekha in the Ganga basin, Icha dam and Kharkai barrage on river Kharkai.

Sharavati Project: It is located 400 km from Bangalore near the Gersoppa falls; the Sharavati Project is one of the world’s major power projects, built by Indian engineers with American collaboration.

 Which of the following is the highest gravity dam in the World?

A. Rihand Dam Project

B. Damodar Valley Project

C. Bhakhra Dam

D. Kosi Project

Ans: C

Explanation: Bhakhra-Nangal Project is the biggest multipurpose project constructed on Satluj in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Bhakhra Dam project is the highest gravity (226 m) dam in the world. 

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