Jharkhand Rivers Profile

About Jharkhand 

Jharkhand State stands on a hilly undulating plateau characterized by predominantly tropical forests and tribal settlements. The total geographical area of the State is 79.70 lakh hectares. The state falls under the Tropical Monsoon climatic region. Presently there are 24 districts in Jharkhand. The population of the State is 32.96 million.

Marvelous eye catching rare geological/geomorphological features like rejuvenated meandering and deep cutting young rivers like Damodar are the uniqueness in the State. It is rate because of combination of senility with the character of young rivers. The state has the luxuriant forests and lush green rolling seasonal meadows. Magnificent undulating hills and valleys are the special attraction. The golden river ‘Swarnarekha’ adds melody in the pristine environment along the course. A combination of table-top flat lands and the peneplain with dome shaped exfoliating hillocks resembling like inverted Nagara (drum) are spread over the state. Further, the Tors or the balanced diamond shaped rocks are also present wonderful nature of the state.

About Major Rivers in Jharkhand  

Jharkhand_Drainage_map1

The North Karo River: The North Karo River drains the Indian state ofJharkhand. It originates on the Ranchi Plateau. It forms a 17-metre (56 ft) high scarp falls, Pheruaghaugh, at the southern margin of the Ranchi plateau. It drains the Gumla, Ranchi and West Singhbhum districts. It joins the South Koel near Serengda. The meandering valley of the Karo river, downstream from Pheruaghaugh falls is a typical example of an incised meander.

The South Karo River: The south Karo river flows through Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts and West  Singhbhum in the Indian states of Odisha and Jharkhand respectively. The river flows through industrial and iron ore mining areas and Saranda forest before joining the South Koel River in Goilkera block of West Singhbhum district. As a result of its passage through the industrial and mining area the river water gets polluted.

The Barakar River: The Barakar River is the prime tributary of Damodar River. It is also the only tributary of Damodar. The river begins near Padma in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, flows for 225 km across the northern part of the Chota Nagpur plateau, mostly in a west to east direction, and finally joins the Damodar near Dishergarh in Bardhaman district of West Bengal. It has a catchment area of around 6159 km². The Barakar River flows in the boundary of the northern portion of Parashanth Hill at an elevation of 1350 m/4470 ft. The highest hill in the region is located in Giridih district of Jharkhand and a centre of Jain pilgrimage.

The Sankh River:  The Sankh River flows across Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha states inIndia. The river      flows for 240 kilometres (150 mi) before it meets the Koel River in Odisha. The river starts 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level in Lupungpat village in Gumla district in Jharkhand and flows 67.5 kilometres (41.9 mi) in the state before entering Chhattisgarh.

The North Koel River: The North Koel rises on the Ranchi plateau and enters Palamau division, below Netarhat  near Rud. After flowing nearly due west for about 32 kilometres (20 mi), it turns north at an almost complete right angle through a gorge at Kutku, and flows through the centre of the district until it falls into the Son a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar. The principal tributaries are the Auranga and the Amanat, both of which join it from the east, the former at Kechki, 16 kilometres (10 mi) south and the latter 8 kilometres (5 mi) north of Daltonganj.

The Damodar River:  Chandwa, Latehar in Jharkhand are recognized as the sources of Damodar River. Barakar, Konar, Bokaro, Haharo, Jamunia, Ghari, Guaia, Khadia and Bhera are the different tributaries and sub tributaries of Damodar River. Out of these set of tributaries, the Barakar is considered to be the biggest tributary of the Damodar. The Damodar River banks are known to be rich in mineral resources. Thus, it could be exploited by industrialists. As a result, a number of coal-oriented industries came up over the Damodar basin. Most of them are government-owned coke oven plants, coal washeries, iron and steel plants, glass, zinc, cement plants and thermal power plants. Contamination thus commenced due to excessive and defective excavation, outmoded processing activities, oil, fly ash, poisonous metals and coal dust. The problem was aggravated due to improper management, an ineffective state pollution control board, which did not take adequate pollution check measures. Damodar and its tributaries were the only source of drinking water for the people in the vicinity. These people were gradually affected by the contaminated water. Several dams have been constructed in the valley, for the generation of hydroelectric power. The valley is called “the Ruhr of India”. Damodar Valley Corporation, popularly known as DVC, came into being on July 7, 1948, by an Act of the Constituent Assembly of India (Act No. XIV of 1948) as the first multipurpose river valley project of independent India. It is modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority of the United States.

Subharnakha_basin.png

The Subarnarekha River: After originating near piska nagri, near Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, the Subarnarekha traverses a long distance through Ranchi Seraikela Kharsawan and East Singhbhum districts in the state. Thereafter, it flows for shorter distances through Paschim Medinipur district in West Bengal for 83 kilometres (52 mi) and Balasore district of Odisha. There, it flows for 79 kilometres (49 mi) and joins the Bay of Bengal near Talsari. The total length of the river is 395 kilometres (245 mi). The basin of the Subarnarekha is smaller than most multi-state river basins in India. The rain-fed river covers a drainage area of 18,951 square kilometres (7,317 sq mi). The prominent tributaries of the Subarnarekha are Kharkai, Roro, Kanchi, Harmu Nadi, Damra, Karru, Chinguru, Karakari, Gurma, Garra, Singaduba, Kodia, Dulunga and Khaijori.The Kharkai meets the Subarnarekha at Sonari (Domuhani), a neighborhood of Jamshedpur.

The Subarnarekha passes through areas with extensive mining of copper and uranium ores. As a result of the unplanned mining activities, the river is polluted. The Subarnarekha has been the lifeline of tribal communities inhabiting the Chhotanagpur region and water pollution affects their livelihood.

Pollution of Jharkhand Rivers 

The large scale mining operations going on in the region have adversely affected groundwater table in many  areas with the result that yield of water from the wells of adjoining villages has drastically reduced. Further, effluents discharged from mine sites have seriously polluted the streams and under groundwater of the area. Acid mine drainage, liquid effluents from coal handling plants, colliery workshops and mine sites and suspended solids from coal washeries have caused serious water pollution in the region, adversely affecting fish and aquatic life.

Table showing selected Polluted River Stretches in Jharkhand 

S.no. River name Stretch Identified. Towns Identified. Approx length of the stretch (in Km)
1 Bokaro Bilyotara To Jarandi Bilyotra, Gumia 8
2 Damodar Phusro Road Bdg To Turio Phusro,Bhandaridah, Dhanbad 12
3 Jumar Kanke Dam To Kadal Ranchi, Morabadi 10
4 Karo Lohojimi To Balagoda Balagoda,Lohojimi 16
5 North Koel Basiadam To Rehla Ranchi,Daltonganj 6
6 Koel Daltanganj To Rehla Kandi, Bisrampur, Majhiaon 25
7 Sankh Kongserabasar To Bolba Kusumdegi,Machhkata 10
8 Subarnarekha Hatia Dam To Jamshedpur Ranchi, Namkum. 120

 A report by Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

 Notes:-

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