Irrigation and Hydropower of Himachal Pradesh

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 Irrigation and Hydropower of Himachal Pradesh

Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. It helps grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall.

Types of irrigation

  1. Surface irrigation- Itis the oldest form of irrigation and has been in use for thousands of years. In surface(furrowflood, or level basin) irrigation systems, water moves across the surface of an agricultural lands, in an order to wet it and infiltrate into the soil.
  2. Micro-irrigation – Also called localized irrigation, low volume irrigation, or trickle irrigationis a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network, in a pre-determined pattern, and applied as a small discharge to each plant. Ex-Drip irrigation, Sprinkler irrigation.

India’s irrigation covered crop area was about 22.6 million hectares in 1951, and it increased to a potential of 90 mha at the end of 1995, inclusive of canals and groundwater wells. However, the potential irrigation relies of reliable supply of electricity for water pumps and maintenance, and the net irrigated land has been considerably short. According to 2001/2002 Agriculture census, only 58.1 million hectares of land was actually irrigated in India. The total arable land in India is 160 million hectares (395 million acres). According to the World Bank, only about 35% of total agricultural land in India was reliably irrigated in 2010.

Irrigation status of Himachal Pradesh

To increase the crop production the importance of irrigation is well established. Adequate and timely supply of irrigation water to crops is the pre-requisite in the agriculture production process, particularly in areas where the rainfall is scanty and irregular. The supply of land is fixed, i.e. inelastic; therefore, the accelerated growth in production is possible through multiple cropping and realization of higher crop yield per unit area, which in turn depends upon irrigation. Creation of irrigation potential and its optimum utilization continues to receive a high priority in Government Planning.

Out of the total geographical area of 55.67 lakh hectare of Himachal, only 5.83 lakh hectare is the Net Sown Area. It is estimated that ultimate irrigation potential of the state is approximately 3.35 lakh hectare, out of which, 0.50 lakh hectare can be brought out under irrigation through major and medium irrigation projects and balance 2.85 lakh hectare of area can be provided irrigation through minor irrigation schemes. Till date 2.68 lakh hectare land has been brought out under the irrigation facility upto 2016.


Command Area Development (CAD)

The Command Area Development work is in progress and out of 15,287 hectare, 8,068 hectare area has been brought under Command Area Development activities.

During the year 2016-17, there is a physical target of 2,500 hectare area for CAD activities. Out of which 1,892.00 hectare area has been achieved up to December, 2016. Major Irrigation Project Shahnehar and MIP Sidhatha were included for funding under Command Area Development Water Management programme of Government of India and other project MIP Nadaun, Balh Vally (LB), Phinna Singh and 23 MIS are in pipe line for inclusion under the programme.

Major Irrigation Projects of State

  1. Shah nehar IP- it is biggest IP of HP., mainly located in Kangra and irrigates 15227 hectare of land in the state.
  2. Babhor Sahib IP- it will receive water from Nangal dam, and irrigate 3561 hectare of land.
  3. Baldwara IP- primarily comes under Mandi district. It will irrigate 3400 hectare of land.
  4. Balh valley IP- it irrigates 2400 hectare of land in Balh valley.
  5. Changar IP- located in Bilaspur district and will irrigate 2350 hectare of land.

Hydro power of State

India is the 7th largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world. As of 30 April 2017, India’s installed  hydroelectric capacity was 44,594 MW, or 13.5% of its total power generation capacity. Additional smaller hydroelectric power units with a total capacity of 4,380 MW (1.3% of its total utility power generation capacity) have been installed.

Hydro power development is the key engine to the economic growth of the State of Himachal Pradesh, as it makes a direct and significant contribution to economy in terms of revenue generation, employment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life. Himachal Pradesh is extremely rich in its hydroelectricity resources. The state is having about twenty five percent of the national potential in this aspect.

The State of Himachal Pradesh has an estimated Hydro power Potential of 27,436 MW out of which 24,000 MW has been assessed as harnessable while the Govt. of HP has decided to forgo balance potential in to safeguard the environment and to maintain ecology and protect various social concerns.

Out of the total harnessable potential of about 24,000 MW, a potential to the tune of 21,500 MW already stands allotted under various sectors. The State has been accelerating the pace of Hydropower development through the active involvement of both the public and private sectors. A potential of about 10,351 MW has already been harnessed so far under various sectors.

Power harnessed under various sectors

SECTOR                                                         Capacity (MW)                                                                               HPSEBL                                                                          487.55

HPPCL                                                                              65.00

CENTRAL/JOINT                                                            7,457.73

HIMURJA (STATE)                                                           2.37

HIMURJA (PRIVATE)                                                       272.75

PRIVATE above 5 MW                                                   1,906.40

 HP SHARE                                                                        159.17

Total                                                                                10,350.97

Major Hydro power projects of the state

Girinagar Hydel Project[

Situated on the river Giri ,Sirmaur district, Girinagar Hydel project has an installed capacity of 60MW, with 2 units of 30MW each. This project, which is run-off-the river scheme come Irrigation and Hydropower of Himachal Pradeshs under HPSEB and is operational for 29 years.

Binwa  Hydel Project

The project with an installed capacity of 16MW comprising 3 units each, is located near Baijnath in District Kangra..

Sanjay Vidyut Pariyojna

Located in the Kinnaur district, on the river Bhaba is a completely underground project with an installed capacity of 120MW, comprising 3 units each of 40MW. The uniqueness of this project lies in its underground switchyard, a feature that no other hydel project in Asia has.

Bassi Hydroelectric Project

Bassi project(66MW) is an extension of Beas Power House in Mandi District constituting 4 units of 16.5MW each.

Larji Hydroelectric Project

Larji hydroelectric project is on river Beas in Kullu district with an installed capacity of 126 MW. The project was completed in September 2007.

Nathpa Jhakri Project

One of the major project on the satluj river is the Nathpa Jhakri Dam which generates nearly 1500MW of electricity. The project is funded by World Bank.



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