6 Indian dams that are stuck at the gates of constriction

The continuous clackety droning of drilling machines and excavators punctures the idyllic surrounds of the Temghar dam, some 50 km west of Pune. Started in 2010, the dam, with a capacity of 3,000 million cubic feet, was a key supplement to the ever-thirsty and fast-growing Pune city and region.

The Rs 314 crore reservoir is empty. It has been drained to facilitate a Rs 100 crore repair for a dam that leaks 10-12% of its contents due to poor construction.

The leaky Temghar dam has been problematic since its opening, with leaks springing up rapidly and the state being forced to blacklist its contractors and rush patches.

Let’s take a look at the other dams that are facing trouble:

  1. Tehri Dam

Where: Uttarakhand

Scope: 2,400 MW hydropower generation in total, with a potential to irrigate 2.7 lakh hectares.

Problem: Concerns over the location in a seismically sensitive zone; questions over the displacement of people.

  1. Sardar Sarovar Dam

Where: Gujarat

Scope: With a total capacity of 9.5 km, it is capable of generating a total of 1,450 MW of power.

Problem: There are still protests by people who have been displaced, demanding rehabilitation and compensation.

  1. Daudhan Dam

Where: Madhya Pradesh

Scope: The Rs 7,600 cr project aims to irrigate 6.35 lakh ha of arid land by transferring water from the Ken to Betwa river basins.

Problem: Ecological concerns; human displacement.

  1. Lower Subansiri Dam

Where: Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border

Scope: 2,000 MW hydroelectricity

Problem: Issues over flooding created by the dam, with concerns over its construction as well.


  1. Pancheshwar Dam

Where: Uttarakhand

Scope: 5,600 MW multipurpose units, with total water storage of 12.26 billion cubic meters.

Problem: Issues over the displacement of people throughout construction; the place is ecologically sensitive.


  1. Polavaram Dam

Where: Andhra Pradesh

Scope: Irrigation capacity of 194 tmc ft and hydropower generation of 960 MW.

Problem: Changes in location due to technical and financial viability; tussle between states since this is part of a river-linking project; concerns over the large displacement of people.

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