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DRAINAGE SYSTEM OF INDIA


Published on: 12/4/2020 12:37:19 AM

Indian drainage system consists of a large number of small and big rivers.It is the outcome of the evolutionary process of the three major physiographic units and the nature and characteristics of precipitation.The flow of water through a definite channel is known as drainage and the network of such channels is called a 'drainage system'.

FACTORS INFLUENCE THE DRAINAGE PATTERN

  • The shape and structure of rocks
  • The physiographic slope
  • The quantity of flowing water
  • The period or time of flow
  • 90% of land water drains into Bay of Bengal and the rest drains into Arabian Sea.
  • The drainage systems flowing into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are separated by a water divide extending approximately along the Western Ghats, Aravallis and Yamuna-Sutlej divide.
  • The Indian drainage system can be divided into two parts on the basis of origin: Himalayan Drainage System; Peninsular Drainage System.

TYPOLOGY OF DRAINAGE PATTERNS

  • The drainage pattern resembling the branches of a tree is known as “dendritic” the examples of which are the rivers of northern plain.
  • When the rivers originate from a hill and flow in all directions, the drainage pattern is known as ‘radial’. The rivers originating from the Amarkantak range present a good example of it.
  • When the primary tributaries of rivers flow parallel to each other and secondary tributaries join them at right angles, the pattern is known as ‘trellis’.
  • When the rivers discharge their waters from all directions in a lake or depression, the pattern is known as ‘centripetal’.

HIMALAYAN DRAINAGE SYSTEM

It has evolved through a long geological history. Since these are fed both by melting of snow and precipitation, rivers of this system are perennial.

There are differences of opinion about the evolution of the Himalayan Rivers. However, geologists believe that a mighty river called Shiwalik or Indo-Brahma traversed the entire longitudinal extent of the Himalaya from Assam to Punjab and onwards to Sind, and finally discharged into the Gulf of Sind near lower Punjab during the Miocene period some 5-24 million years ago.

INDUS SYSTEM

  • It is one of the largest river basins of the world, covering an area of 11, 65, 000 sq. km (in India it is 321, 289 sq. km and a total length of 2,880 km (in India 1,114 km).
  • It originates from a glacier near Bokhar Chu in the Tibetan region at an altitude of 4,164 m in the Kailash Mountain range.
  • It receives a number of Himalayan tributaries such as the Shyok, the Gilgit, the Zaskar, the Hunza, the Nubra, the Shigar, the Gasting and the Dras. It finally emerges out of the hills near Attock where it receives the Kabul River on its right bank. The other important tributaries joining the right bank of the Indus are the Khurram, the Tochi, the Gomal, the Viboa and the Sangar. They all originate in the Sulaiman ranges.
  • The river flows southward and receives ‘Panjnad’ a little above Mithankot. The Panjnad is the name given to the five rivers of Punjab, namely the Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the Jhelum.
  • It flows in India only through the Leh district in Jammu and Kashmir.

VALLEY PROJECTS LINK WITH INDUS RIVER

The Bhakra Nangal Project

  • It is the largest and the most important multipurpose project named after the two dams built at Bhakra and Nangal on the Satluj River. It is the second highest dam in the World.
  • The project comprises of: (i) two dams at Bhakra and Nangal, (ii) Nangal Hydel Channel, (iii) power houses with a combined installed capacity of 1,204 megawatt (MW) (iv) Electric transmission lines and (v) Bhakra canal system for irrigation.

The Indira Gandhi Project or the Rajasthan Canal

  • This is previously known as Rajasthan Canal Project. It is one of the biggest irrigation projects not only in India but in whole World.
  • It covers s an area 600 km long and 45 km wide of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
  • It is one of the most gigantic projects in the world aiming to de-desertify and transform desert waste land into agriculturally productive area.

Pong Dam

  • It is also called the Beas Dam on the river Beas, near Talwara in Himachal Pradesh, is the highest (132 m high) rock-fill dam in the country.
  • The project is a joint venture of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. The dam has been designed to store 6.6 million acre feet of water.

The Baglihar Project

  • It has been executed on the Chenab in Jammu & Kashmir.

Dul-Hasti Hydro-Electric Project

  • It is being built on river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The foundation of the project was laid in September 1984.
  • The project will consist of a power plant of 390 MW capacities. The power house will be located underground.

Thien Dam (Punjab)

  • A 147 metre high dam built by the Punjab Government at Thien village across the Ravi 25 km. upstream of Madhopur head works.
  • It will irrigate 8 lakh hectares land and generate 600 MW power.
  • Renamed as Ranjit Sagar Dam it was dedicated to the nation on March 4, 2001 by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Chamera Hydro-Electric Project

  • The 540 MW Chamera hydro-electric project on the Ravi River in Himachal Pradesh was implemented with Canadian credit offer of about Rs 335 crore.

Nathpa-Jhakri Hydro-Electric Project

  • India’s largest hydro-electric project, it is located at Nathpa Jhakri in Himachal Pradesh. It is built on Satluj River.
  • The first of the six 250 MW units was commissioned on December 30, 2002.
  • The project is being executed by Satluj Jal Nigam (formerly Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation).

Also Read | THE CLIMATE OF INDIA

THE GANGA SYSTEM

  • It is the most important river of India both from the point of view of its basin and cultural significance.
  • It rises from the Gangotri glacier near Gaumukh (3,900 m) in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Here, it is known as the Bhagirathi. It cuts through the Central and the Lesser Himalayas in narrow gorges.
  • At Devprayag, the Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda; then after, it is known as the Ganga. The Alaknanda has its source in the Satopanth glacier above Badrinath.
  • The Alaknanda consists of the Dhauli and the Vishnu Ganga which meet at Joshimath or Vishnu Prayag.
  • The other tributaries of Alaknanda such as the Pindar join it at Karna Prayag while Mandakini or Kali Ganga meets it at Rudra Prayag. The Ganga enters the plains at Haridwar.

 PLACE

CONFLUENCE

Devprayag

Bhagirathi + Alaknanda

Rudraprayag

Mandakini + Alaknanda

Karnaprayag

Pindar + Alaknanda

Vishnuprayag

Dhauliganga + Alaknanda

  • It has a length of 2,525 km.
  • It is shared by Uttarakhand (110 km) and Uttar Pradesh (1,450 km), Bihar (445 km) and West Bengal (520 km).

TRIBUTARIES OF GANGA

SOURCE

The Yamuna

It originates from the Yamunotri glacier on the western slopes of Banderpunch range (6,316 km).

The Chambal

It rises near Mhow in the Malwa plateau of Madhya Pradesh and flows northwards through a gorge up wards of Kotain Rajasthan, where the Gandhisagar dam has been constructed.

The Gandak

It rises in the Nepal Himalayas between the Dhaulagiri and Mount Everest and drains the central part of Nepal.

The Ghaghara

It originates in the glaciers of Mapchachungo.

The Kosi

It is an antecedent river with its source to the north of Mount Everest in Tibet, where its main stream Arun rises.

The Ramganga

It is comparatively a small river rising in the Garhwal hills near Gairsain.

The Damodar

It originates from Chhota Nagpur Plateau.

The Barakar

It is originates near the Padma, Hazaribagh.

The Sarda or Saryu River

It rises in the Milan glacier in the Nepal Himalayas where it is known as the Goriganga.

The Mahananda

It originates in the Himalayas: Paglajhora Falls on Mahaldiram Hill near Chimli, east of Kurseong in Darjeeling district at an elevation of 2,100 metres.

The Son

It originates near Amarkantak in Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh.

 

RIVER VALLEY PROJECTS OF RIVER GANGA

Tehri Project

It has been constructed at Tehri at the confluence of the rivers Bhilangana and Bhagirathi.

Ramganga Project

It is constructed on the river Ramganga, tributary of Ganga.

Tanakpur Project

It has been executed at Tanakpur (Uttarakhand) on the river Kali that flows on the Indo-Nepal border.

Gandak Project

It is joint project of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. Hydro-electricity is produced at Suratpura (Nepal) on the river Gandak. The dam has been built at Bhaisalotan (Valmikinagar) in Bihar.

Kosi Project

It is a joint project of Bihar and Nepal. The main objectives of this project are flood control, hydro-electricity production and irrigation. Kataiya in Nepal produced Hydro-electricity. The main canal in Bihar has been drawn out from the Hanuman Nagar Barrage.

Rihand Project

It has been executed at Pipri (Sonebhadra district, Uttar Pradesh) on the river Rihand, a tributary of the son.

Bansagar Project

It is joint project of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on the son. It has been built on the son in the district of Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh.

Matatila Project

It is joint project of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on the river Betwa. The dam has been built in Uttar Pradesh.

Chambal Project

It is a joint undertaking by the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments. The Rana Pratap Dam at Bhata, 48 km from Kotah, was inaugurated on Feb 9, 1970. The project comprises construction of two other dams: Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh and Jawahar Sagar (Kotah) Dam in Rajasthan.

Damodar Valley

Principal object of this multipurpose scheme is to control the flowing of the Damodar which is notorious for its vagaries and destructiveness. It is designed on the lines of the Tennessee Valley Authority (T.V.A.) in U.S.A.

Mayurakshi Project

It is joint project of undivided Bihar (Now Jharkhand) and West Bengal. A dam has been built on the river Mayurakshi at Masanjor in Dumka district of Jhakhand. It is also known as the ‘Canada Dam’.

THE BRAHMAPUTRA SYSTEM

  • It is one of the longest rivers of the world and with regard to the volume of water it is among the four largest rivers of the world.
  • Its drainage system is spread in three countries- China (Tibet), India and Bangladesh.
  • It originates from Chemayungdung glacier of the Kailash range near the Mansarovar Lake.
  • It is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, the Brahmaputra, Lohit, Siang, and Dihang in India, and the Jamuna in Bangladesh.

MAJOR TRIBUTARIES OF BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER SYSTEM

Tributaries from North Bank

Tributaries from South Bank

The Jiadhal

The Noa Dehing

The Subansiri

The Buridehing

The Siang

The Debang

The Kameng (Jiabharali in Assam)

The Dikhow

The Dhansiri(North)

The Dhansiri(S)

The Puthimari

The Kopili

The Pagladiya

The Digaru

The Manas

The Dudhnai

The Champamati

The Krishnai

The Saralbhanga

 

The Aie

 

The Sankosh
 

 

 

  • It is volume wise largest river of India whereas lengthwise Ganga is the longest river of India.
  • It forms largest number of fresh water riverine islands in the world and among this, Majuli is the largest fresh water riverine island in the world.

DAMS BUILT ON THE BRAHMAPUTRA BASIN

Name

Purpose

River

State

Type

Doyang Hep Dam

Hydroelectric, Drinking / Water Supply

Doyang

Nagaland

Earthen

Karbi Langpi Dam

Hydroelectric

Borpani

Assam

Gravity & Masonry

Khandong Dam

Hydroelectric

Kopili

Meghalaya

Earthen

Kyrdemkulai (Umiam st-III) Dam

Hydroelectric, Irrigation, Drinking / Water Supply

Umtru

Meghalaya

Gravity & Masonry

Nongkhyllem Dam

Hydroelectric

Umtru

Meghalaya

-

Ranganadi Dam

Hydroelectric

 

Arunachal Pradesh

Gravity & Masonry

Rangit III Dam

Hydroelectric, Drinking / Water Supply

Rangit

Sikkim

Gravity & Masonry

Rangpo Dam

Hydroelectric

Rongpo

Sikkim

-

Rongli Dam

Hydroelectric

Rongli

Sikkim

-

Subansiri Lower HE (Nhpc) Dam

Hydroelectric

Subansiri

Arunachal Pradesh

Gravity & Masonry

Teesta -V (NHPC) Dam

Hydroelectric

Teesta

Sikkim

Gravity & Masonry

Teesta-III Dam

 

Teesta

Sikkim

Rockfill

Teesta-III Lower Dam

Hydroelectric

Teesta

West Bengal

Gravity & Masonry

Teesta-IV Dam

Not mentioned

Teesta

Sikkim

Gravity & Masonry

Teesta-IV Lower Dam

Hydroelectric

Teesta

West Bengal

Gravity & Masonry

Umiam Dam

Hydroelectric

Umiam

Meghalaya

Earthen / Gravity & Masonry

Umrong Dam

Hydroelectric

Umrong

Assam

Earthen

Umtru Dam

Hydroelectric,Irrigation,Drinking / Water Supply

Umtru

Meghalaya

Earthen / Gravity & Masonry

 

PENINSULAR DRAINAGE SYSTEM

The rivers of this drainage system are more ancient then the Himalayan Rivers and have almost attained the old age. Hence, the slope-gradient of these rivers are very slow. Only those areas are its exceptions where new rifts have been created. Most of the peninsular rivers flow eastward because their main water divide is the Western Ghats.

EVOLUTION OF PENINSULAR DRAINAGE SYSTEM

There were three major geological events in the distant past have shaped the present drainage systems of Peninsular India:

  1. Subsidence of the western flank of the Peninsula leading to its submergence below the sea during the early tertiary period. Generally, it has disturbed the symmetrical plan of the river on either side of the original watershed.
  2. Upheaval of the Himalayas when the northern flank of the peninsular block was subjected to subsidence and the consequent trough faulting.
  3. Slight tilting of the peninsular block from northwest to the south-eastern direction gave orientation to the entire drainage system towards the Bay of Bengal during the same period.

Also Read | LAW OF THE SEA

RIVERS OF THE PENINSULAR INDIA

The Godavari

  • It is the largest peninsular river system due to this it is also called the Dakshin Ganga.
  • It rises in the Nasik district of Maharashtra and discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Its tributaries run through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Penganga, the Indravati, the Pranhita, and the Manjra are its principal tributaries.

The Krishna

  • It is the second largest east flowing Peninsular River which rises near Mahabaleshwar in Sahyadri. Its total length is 1,401 km.
  • The Koyna, the Tungbhadra and the Bhima are its major tributaries.

The Mahanadi

  • It rises near Sihawa in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh and runs through Orissa to discharge its water into the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is 851 km long and its catchment area spreads over 1.42 lakh sq. km.

The Kaveri

  • It rises in Brahmagiri hills (1,341m) of Kogadu district in Karnataka.
  • Its length is 800 km and it drains an area of 81,155 sq. km.
  • Its important tributaries are the Kabini, the Bhavani and the Amravati.

The Narmada

  • It originates on the western flank of the Amarkantak plateau at a height of about 1,057 m. flowing in a rift valley between the Satpura in the south and the Vindhyan range in the north; it forms a picturesque gorge in marble rocks and Dhuandhar waterfall near Jabalpur.
  • After flowing a distance of about 1,312 km, it meets the Arabian Sea south of Bharuch, forming a broad 27 km long estuary.
  • Its catchment area is about 98,796 sq. km.
  • The Sardar Sarovar Project has been constructed on this river.

The Tapi

  • It is the other important westward flowing river. It originates from Multai in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. It is 724 km long and drains an area of 65,145 sq. km.
  • Nearly 79 per cent of its basin lies in Maharashtra, 15 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and the remaining 6 per cent in Gujarat.

The Luni

  • It is the largest river system of Rajasthan, west of Aravali.
  • It originates near Pushkar in two branches, i.e. the Saraswati and the Sabarmati, which join with each other at Govindgarh.
  • From here, the river comes out of Aravali and is known as Luni. It flows towards the west till Telwara and then takes a southwest direction to join the Rann of Kachchh.
  • The entire river system is ephemeral.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIMALAYAN RIVERS AND PENINSULAR RIVERS

HIMALAYAN RIVERS

PENINSULAR RIVERS

They are perennial because their sources are often linked with glacier. For example- The Ganga, the Yamuna, the Kosi etc.

They are seasonal because of dependence on rain water. For example- The Narmada, the Godavari, the Krishna etc.

The basins of the rivers are large. For example- The Ganga basin, the Indus basin etc.

The basins of the rivers are smaller as compare to Himalayan rivers. For example- The Ganga basin, the Indus basin etc.

Less number of rivers flow into the ocean. Most of the rivers are tributaries of one or the other large river.

Most of the rivers flow into the ocean because of high peninsular slope.

They form deep valleys and gorges in their source areas.

They are often shallow.

They cover long distances in the plains and are navigable there.

They are not navigable because of the waterfalls on their way and fluctuation of the quantity of water.

They form meanders because they flow through plains where the land is friable (soft).

They flow through hard rocky areas.

They form deltas at their mouths.

They form estuaries or small deltas at their mouth.

 

Rivers

Important towns

Yamuna

Agra, New Delhi

Sabarmati

Ahmedabad

Mahanadi

Cuttack

Hooghly

Kolkata

Adyar

Chennai

Krishna

Amaravati

Brahmaputra

Guwahati

Also Read | THE INDIAN OCEAN