Bhakra Dam turns 50 on Tuesday
Chandigarh: Called the "Temple of a resurgent India" by first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhakra Dam completes 50 years Tuesday. A golden jubilee event is planned at Nangal, 110 km from here, by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat, Chief Ministers Parkash Singh Badal of Punjab and Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Haryana, will be among those to attend the golden jubilee event.
A commemorative stamp on the dam will also be released on the occasion, a BBMB spokesman said Monday. Built on river Sutlej, the 225.55-metre high concrete dam was termed as a technological marvel when it was completed in 1963. Nehru dedicated the dam to the nation Oct 22, 1963. Nehru was so involved with the project that he visited the site 13 times during its construction phase. The dam itself is now located in Himachal Pradesh, close to the Punjab-Himachal border, 13 km from Nangal town.
The dam's reservoir, named 'Gobind Sagar' after tenth Sikh guru, Gobind Singh, is about 96.56 km long, covering an area of about 168.35 sq km. It is the largest reservoir in India, the BBMB spokesman said. Built at a cost of Rs.245.28 crore in 1963, the canal system of the Bhakra Dam irrigates 135 lakh acres agricultural fields of food grain states Punjab and Haryana. The water from the dam helped during the Green Revolution in these states in the 1960s. The water from the dam also reaches parts of Rajasthan.
The 1,361 MW electricity generated at its two power houses supplies power to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh through the northern grid. Nehru held discussions on the Panchsheel Agreement with Chinese Premier Chou En Lai near the dam site.