Koyna Dam: Notes for UPSC

Major dams and reservoirs in India are important for the UPSC civil services exam. It is a part of the Geography/environment and ecology sections of the IAS exam. In this article, you can read about the Koyna Dam, which is one of the largest dams in the state of Maharashtra.

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What is the Koyna Dam?

The Koyna Dam is one of the largest dams in Maharashtra, India. It is a rubble-concrete dam constructed on Koyna River which rises in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Sahyadri ranges. It is located in Koyna Nagar, Satara district, nestled in the Western Ghats on the state highway between Chiplun and Karad.

What is the purpose behind its construction?

The main purpose of the dam is hydroelectricity with some irrigation in neighbouring areas. Today the Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India having a total installed capacity of 1,920 MW. Due to its electricity generating potential Koyna river is considered as the ‘lifeline of Maharashtra’.

The spillway of the dam is located at the center. It has 6 radial gates. The dam plays a vital role in flood control in the monsoon season. The catchment area dams the Koyna river and forms the Shivsagar Lake which is approximately 50 km (31 mi) in length. It is one of the largest civil engineering projects commissioned after Indian independence. The Koya hydro-electric project is run by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

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Brief Details about the Koyna Dam

  • Constructed on the Koyna River.
  • Situated in Koyna Nagar in Satara District, Maharashtra.
  • The dam is nestled in the Western Ghats.
  • The chief purpose of the dam is to generate hydroelectricity and also a little bit of irrigation in the neighbouring areas.
  • It is the largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India.
  • It has a total installed capacity of 1,920 MW.
  • In the 1967 earthquake at Koyna Nagar, the dam developed a few cracks. The dam has witnessed many other smaller earthquakes as well.

Get more NCERT Geography Notes for UPSC exam, by clicking on the linked article

Facts about the Koyna River

  • The Koyna is a tributary of the river Krishna.
  • It originates in Mahabaleshwar and meets the Krishna in a place called Karad, Satara.
  • The confluence of the rivers Koyna and Krishna is called Preeti Sangam, meaning ‘confluence of love’.
  • Karad is well-known for the production of sugar.
  • The river flows in the north-south direction. Most other rivers flow in the east-west direction.
  • The river is also called the ‘lifeline of Maharashtra’.

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