The Ganga River System

The Ganga System

  • It is 2525 km long of which 1450 km is in Uttarakhand and UP, 445 km in Bihar and 520 km in West Bengal. 
  • The Ganga, the head stream is constituted of two main rivers – Bhagirthi and Alaknanda, which combine at Devprayag to form Ganga. 
  • Before Alaknanda meets Bhagirthi at Devprayag, Mandakini meets Alaknanda at Rudraprayag. 
  • Sources: Bhagirthi from Gaumukh, Alaknanda from Badrinath, Mandakini from Kedarnath (all from Uttarakhand). 
  • Yamuna (1375 km) is its most important tributary (on right bank). It rises at the Yamunotri glacier in Uttarakhand. It runs parallel to Ganga for 800km and joins it at Allahabad. Important tributaries of Yamuna are Chambal (1050 km), Sind, Betwa (480 km) and Ken (all from south). 

Apart from Yamuna, other tributaries of Ganga are Ghaghra (1080 km), Son (780 km), Gandak (425 km), Kosi (730 km), Gomti (805 km), Damodar (541 km). Kosi is infamous as ‘Sorrow of Bihar’, while Damodar gets the name ‘Sorrow of Bengal’ as these cause floods in these regions. 
Hooghli is a distributory of Ganga flowing through Kolkata. 
Run-of-the-River Projects on the Ganges
There are some run-of-the-river hydroelectric power projects under construction on the Ganges tributaries. Two are being constructed by the Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (UJVNL) and three by NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation).
Loharinag Pala Hydro Power Project (NTPC): This is a hydroelectric power project with a peak capacity of 600 MW (150 MW x 4 Units) in Loharinag Pala. The major program has been granted permission. The number of supervisors working is more than 100. The project is situated on the Bhagirathi tributary in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. This venture is the first of its kind in downstream from Gangotri, the source of the Ganges.
Tapovan Vishnugad Hydroelectric Power Project (NTPC): In Joshimath city.
Lata Tapovan Hydroelectric Power Project (NTPC): Also in Joshimath.
Maneri Bhali Hydro Power Project (UJVNL)
Maneri Tiloth Hydro Power Project (UJVNL): In Uttarkashi from 1984 (of 90 MW).

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