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Chotanagpur and Santhal Paraganas have very low level of per capita energy consumption in spite of substantial hydropower resources. There are also other energy resources such as hot springs and coal. A major portion of energy consumed in the region is derived from Biomass fuels and is almost entirely used for household cooking in rural areas which results in massive deforestation and soil erosion. 

It was found that various problems associated with large dams do not make them feasible in the region. Most of the people live in the highlands and plateaus and cultivate the hill slopes along rivers. Hence small storage dams are required for assured water supply, and producing electricity to raise the water onto the hill slopes for cultivation. These nucleus of small dams are an offshoot of cascade development, many  of which are proposed to have the height restricted from 5 to 10m and will provide electricity to the blocks. Overall study of the catchment areas was also carried out to identify conservation measures. 


The planning criteria adapted was such as to reduce implementation period and investigation costs. Among the key criteria were
  • Weir Lengths restricted to 75m and height to 10m
  • Proposed sites are selected are through screening of the entire river from source to confluence including tributaries.
  • Short boulder reaches within pastoral reaches were preferred.
  • Easy accessibility and availability of materials
  • They should be multi purpose
  • Scope for  delayed grid tie.

A view of a site located on Tajna river, a tributary of Karo which is proposed to be developed for Murhu block is shown. 


The design of the pilot schemes is such that they are simple diversion structures with run of river plants based on small pondage. These may also serve for water supply and minor irrigation and fishing. The construction will  in most cases produce local temporary employment and when completed enhance quality of life. All the projects will not displace people or destroy productive farm land.

The capacities  for the projects were standardized and different turbine alternatives for the electro mechanical equipment of the schemes were studied and evaluated to obtain the alternative with least civil works and costs.





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