Infrastructure built in the post independence period:-storage Dams on rivers Sutlej, Beas and the Ravi and the Canal infrastructure for utilization of stored waters
Multipurpose projects were planned over rivers, Sutlej, Beas and Ravi for storage of water by constructing dams. To utilize the stored water for irrigation, there was substantial expansion of infrastructure by constructing additional network of canals and remodeling the existing canals in the post independence period. Construction on Bhakra Dam was started in early fifties and completed in 1963 at a cost of Rs. 255.85 crore. The Bhakra Dam has a live storage capacity of about 5.60 MAF. Power Houses comprising five units each were built on left and right side, having a total installed capacity of 450 MW and 600 MW respectively. The installed capacity of the Power House on the left side was increased to 540 MW during the period 1981-85 and that of power house on the right side was increased to 785.00 MW during the period of 1996-2001.
Nangal Dam was constructed about 13 Km downstream of Bhakra Dam to pass a flood discharge of 3,50,000 Cs and to provide a balancing reservoir to smoothen out the diurnal variation in water released after generation of electricity at the above power plants.
Construction of Nangal Hydel Channel, which off takes from Nangal Dam, with a capacity of 12500 Cs and length of 61 Km was completed in 1954. Two Power Houses, namely Ganguwal Power House and Kotla Power House, each with an installed capacity of about 77MW, were constructed on Nangal Hydel Channel. The Bhakra Main Line Canal with a capacity of 12455 Cs, is an extension of Nangal Hydel Channel and primarily carries Sutlej waters for the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and drinking water supply to Delhi and Chandigarh. The B.M.L canal which has a length of about 164 Km, (out of which 159 Km falls in Punjab), was built during the period 1950-54 to carry Sutlej waters.
The Ropar Headworks, which was constructed in the year 1874-82 for supply of Sutlej waters to Punjab areas through old Sirhind Canal System, was remodeled in 1952-54 for utilization of waters stored by Bhakra Dam.
The Ferozepur Headwork which was constructed in the year 1927, for the purpose of supply of Sutlej-Beas waters to Bikaner Canal and Eastern Canal and the canal network now in Pakistan, lost much of its utility after the partition of the country in 1947. The headworks came within firing range of Pakistan, therefore, to ensure uninterrupted water supplies to Bikaner and Eastern Canals and proper utilization of waters of rivers Ravi and Beas, Harike Headwork was constructed in the year 1954-55, deep inside Indian Territory.
The Madhopur Beas link, having a capacity of 10,000 Cs was built during 1955-57, linking river Ravi with Beas at Harike. The Rajasthan canal with a capacity of 18500 Cs, off taking from Harike Headworks was constructed during 1958-1961, for supply of Ravi-Beas waters to Rajasthan. This canal runs in a length of 149.53 Km in Ferozepur, Muktsar and Faridkot districts of Punjab. The Ferozepur Feeder off-taking from Harike Headworks was constructed in the year 1952-53. This canal, with a capacity of 11192 Cs, runs in a length of 51.30 Km and supplies Ravi-Beas waters to Sirhind Feeder and Eastern Canal systems of Punjab and Bikaner Canal of Rajasthan.
The infrastructure thus created ensured best possible utilization of Ravi-Beas waters on run off the river basis, pending construction of storage dams on rivers Beas and Ravi. The water of river Beas was somewhat tamed by constructing a storage dam at Pong (1974) with a capacity of 5.91 MAF. Pong Power House having an installed capacity of 360 MW ( 6 units of 60 MW each) was constructed downstream of Pong Dam. The Pong Dam was constructed at a cost of Rs. 302.00 crore.
3.82 MAF of Beas water was diverted through Beas Sutlej Link (1977) into Bhakra reservoir through a diversion dam at Pandoh , constructed upstream of Pong Dam. A Power House with an installed capacity of 990 MW (6unit of 165 MW each) was constructed at Dehar, where a fall of 1000’ exists, before diversion of water into Bhakra reservoir. The Beas Sutlej Link Project was constructed at a cost of Rs. 396.85 crore. The capital works of Beas project, were executed by the Beas construction Board, constituted under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1996 and the expenditure was met out of Central Assistance given to the partner states (Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan) by way of loan. After completion of works of Beas Project, these were taken over by the Bhakra Beas Management Board ( BBMB).
For proper utilization of Beas water for irrigation, Shanehar Headwork was constructed in the year 1983, downstream of Pong Dam. The Mukerian Hydel Channel which was constructed in 1982 , which off-takes from this headwork and after production of electricity at four Power Houses, having a total installed capacity of 207 MW, waters of river Beas are relesed for utilization at Harike.
The Ranjit Sagar Dam on river Ravi, constructed 24 Km upstream of Madhopur Headworks, was commissioned in the year 2000. Expenditure of Rs. 3745.00 crore has been incurred on the project out of which Rs. 3495.22 crore was funded out of Punjab’s plan allocations, and a meager loan assistance of Rs. 249.78 crore was provided by Government of India. The dam has been constructed with the objective of power generation and full use of utilizable Ravi waters. The dam has a storage capacity of 1.9 MAF. A Power House, with a total installed capacity of 600 MW ( 4 units of 150 MW each) has been constructed downstream of the Dam.
The Shahpur Kandi dam project has been proposed for construction 11 Km downstream of Ranjit Sagar Dam. The Shahpurkandi Dam will act as a balancing reservoir to enable Ranjit Sagar Dam to function as a peaking station for optimum power generation during peak hours and to ensure uniform releases of water to the canal system off-taking from Madhopur Headworks.