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Himachal Pradesh & Punjab Ranjit Sagar Dam
Ranjit Sagar Dam is constructed over Ravi river and is one of the biggest dam in Punjab. This dam is constructed on the border area of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. This dam is the largest producer of hydro electricity in Punjab area. Exact location of this dam is Shah Pur Kandi, which is located in the district Pathankot. This village (now township) is also the center of long study of the construction of this dam. The study process started in 1953 and ended in 1980. Detailed reports were collected during the study and then the construction was started. Completion of the dam with power plant was done in 2001. Generators for generation of hydroelectricity were installed and the production started during 2001.
Ranjit sagar dam was the dream project to serve the large population of both the states i.e. Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. During the establishment it was mutually agreed between both the states and central government that production expenses will be borne by both states as major portion of electricity produced at this dam is being supplied to Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. In the area of Punjab, this dam is also being used as irrigation support while in Himachal Pradesh the use of this dam is only supplying of electricity as the terrain of the state do not support the irrigation through canals from downward area.
Height of this dam is 160 mtrs and length is 617 mtrs. This dam is just located at Madhopur Barrage in Pathankot. Diameter of the pipes of this dam is the largest in India. Hydro electricity generation capacity of this dam is 600 MW. A thick wall of 46 ft has been created to take the huge load and of flow of water. According to a water treaty between Indian Pakistan, this dam was constructed. This dam is also known as Thein dam and geographical coordinates are between 32° -26'-30” N and longitude: 75°-43'-30” E. Commissioning of this dam was a part of irrigation project. This dam was a result of a treat between the three states Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. In this dam 4 units for generation of hydro electricity have been installed with a capacity top generate 150 MW from each unit. Entire catchment area of this dam is 52,260 th ha. The canals initiated from the channels of this dam are moved towards Punjab only as the geographical terrain of rest of the two beneficiary states is not able to accept the canals. Flow control of water is being regulated by heavy gates and spillways provisioned in this dam.
This dam is one of the most attractive man made places in the Punjab. Madhopur head is the nearest landmark and road crossing area from where a better connectivity to the rest of the country is available at times. By rail access of this dam is possible as Pathankot is the nearest railway station. Basically Chakki Bank is the detraining station. By air travelling for seeing this dam is also affordable as Pathankot airport is well connected with routine flights from other major parts of the country. Generally the flights to Chandigarh are preferred to reach this dam as transportation from Chandigarh airport is easy to reach this dam. Water sports facilities, boating facilities are also provided in the water reservoir of this dam. Power plant can also be visited on written and prior approval by the concerned authorities. The electricity generated here is cheaper than other plants in the country. Reason being per unit electricity rate is less in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.