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Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project


State-run hydropower company NHPC Ltd. Will soon start trial runs for the Subansiri Lower project.


GS III: Infrastructure

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project:
  2. What is a Gravity dam?
  3. About Subansiri River

About Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project:

  • The Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project is currently the largest hydroelectric project in India.
  • It is a run-of-river scheme located on the Subansiri River, near North Lakhimpur on the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
  • The project has a capacity of 2000MW and features a concrete gravity dam that stands 116 meters high from the river bed level.
  • The project is being developed by the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), a state-run entity.

What is a Gravity dam?

  • A gravity dam is a type of massive structure commonly constructed using concrete or stone masonry.
  • These dams are typically built in a straight line across a broad valley and rely on their own weight to resist the horizontal thrust of the retained water.
  • Gravity dams are known for their durability and require minimal maintenance.

About Subansiri River

  • Origin: The Subansiri River originates in the Tibetan plateau in China. It flows through the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India and eventually joins the Brahmaputra River.
  • Length: The Subansiri River is approximately 442 kilometers long, making it one of the major rivers in the region.
  • Tributary of Brahmaputra: The Subansiri River is the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra River, one of the longest rivers in Asia.
  • Hydroelectric Potential: The Subansiri River has significant hydroelectric potential due to its high volume of water and varying topography. The Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project is a major undertaking to harness the river’s hydropower.
  • Biodiversity: The Subansiri River and its surrounding areas are known for their rich biodiversity. The river supports a diverse ecosystem, including various species of fish and other aquatic life.
  • Importance for local communities: The Subansiri River plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of the communities living along its banks. It supports agriculture, fishing, and other activities that sustain local populations.
  • Cultural Significance: The Subansiri River holds cultural and religious significance for the local communities. It is often associated with traditional rituals, festivals, and folklore that are deeply rooted in the region’s heritage.
  • Environmental Concerns: The construction of large-scale hydroelectric projects on the Subansiri River has raised concerns about potential environmental impacts, including the displacement of communities and the alteration of the river’s natural flow.
  • Scenic Beauty: The Subansiri River flows through picturesque landscapes, including dense forests, mountainous regions, and scenic valleys. Its beauty attracts tourists and nature lovers to explore its pristine surroundings.
  • These facts highlight the importance, ecological value, and cultural significance of the Subansiri River in the region.

Source: The Hindu

December 2023