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 An Over View Of Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project


The concept of Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project was mooted in the Mahilater half of sixties. The foundation stone of this ambitious, multipurpose, inter-state project was laid by the then Finance Minister, Government of India late Shri Morrarji Desai in the year 1960 The project is named after renowned freedom fighter and national leader late Shri Jamnalal Bajaj. The river Mahi originates from Sardarpura village of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh and flows through M.P. Rajasthan and Gujarat before conversing into bay of Khambat in Gujarat state. From water potential point of view, the Mahi river basin is the third largest among fifteen well defined and discriminated river basins of Rajasthan state. Rivers Erav, Chap, Nori, Anas, Jakham, Som are major tributories of river Mahi. However, barring Earu all other rivers converges into Mahi main stream down stream of Mahi Dam. The original project proposal envisages 46,500 ha. CCA approved by the Planning Commission and Central Water & Power Commission in the year 1971. The major construction activities started in the year 1972 and the project was dedicated to nation by the Hon'ble Prime Minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi on 1.11.1983.

Interstate Ramifications

To harness and exploit enormous Mahi river potential for welfare of mankind and development of tribal dominated most backward region of the Rajasthan state, an inter state bilateral agreement was executed between the states of Rajasthan & Gujarat in the year 1966. The agreement not only enshrines the concept and modalities of sharing Mahi water vis-a-vis cost of construction, rather stipulates broad guidelines and alternate dictums of water sharing in the context of anticipated future programmes and projections.

Out of total projected yield at Mahi Dam site, 13 TMC is reserved for M.P. state other wise, M.P. state has no bearing or influence in the context of project's benefits sharing.

The live storage vis-a-vis construction cost of Dam upto FRL 915' (278.95 M) was to be shared between Gujarat and Rajasthan in 40:9 ratio, while Rajasthan enjoys unequivocal right over additional 7.0 TMC storage available between 921 ft. (the revised FRL) and 915 feet (278.95 M) as the difference in construction cost of Dam is borne exclusively by the Rajasthan state.

Project profile

The interstate, multipurpose Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project is located amidst Banswara district in southern part of Rajasthan state bordering the states of M.P. and Gujarat. Major part of catchment and submergence lies in the M.P.state. Mahi Dam with open gatesThe reservoir has 72.93 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) gross storage capacity at FRL 280.75 M of which 60.68 TMC is available as live storage. This live storage is shared by the states of Rajasthan & Gujarat in accordance with the spirit of 1966 interstate agreement. To make optimum use of available water, releases from Mahi reservoir are routed through Power House No.1 having 2x25 M.W. installed capacity situated about 8 km from Banswara town on Banswara-Ratlam state high way. The share of Gujarat state is channelised through Power House II having 2x45 M.W. installed capacity located about 40 Km from Banswara town on the bank of Anas river, a major tributory of Mahi river which converges into it down stream of Mahi dam. Post generation releases from PH II are destined for Kadana reservoir of Gujarat state. Thus, there is well established mechanism for sustained replenishment of Kadana reservoir round the year.

At the on set the planned CCA of Mahi project was 46,500 ha. which was subsequently revised and enhanced to 80,000 ha. along with revision of FRL of Mahi reservoir from 915 ft. to 921 ft. for 7 TMC additional storage.

Dam and appurtenant works along with requisite infrastructures for power generation have already been completed long back and in the last decade of millenium the sole thrust and concentration has been on extending irrigation frontiers so as to bring more and more areas under Mahi command.

The power House I and Power House II have been synchronized in the year 1986 and 1989 respectively.

To extend flow irrigation regime there exists wide spread network of canal system. Out of total 80,000 ha. originally envisaged CCA of Mahi Project, 44,060 ha. is under Left Main Canal system and rest 35,940 ha. is taken care of by Right Main Canal system. The total length of hitherto constructed canal network in original command is 1260 Km which gives about 15.5 m length of channel per ha. CCA.

The RMC is purely irrigation channel except two micro power houses 2x400 KW and 1x165 KW located at Ghatol & Ganoda respectively while the LMC is irrigation cum hydel channel, as it transmits the share of Gujarat state upto PH II. Length of LMC including hydel channel and RMC are 40 and 72 Kms. respectively. Both the main canals originates from BR I popularly known as Kagdi pick up weir located on the out skirts of Banswara town.

With dedication of project to the nation in the year 1983, irrigation activities were synchronized the same year, albeit in the part of original command area. However, since then there is no looking back and project authorities have been busy extending and expanding irrigation facilities in phased manner of course in consonance with fiscal allocations and budgetary support. Hitherto canal net work has been established in about 80% area of original command and in the 17,409 ha. CCA of irrigation tanks located sporadically amidst Mahi's original command of 80,000 ha.

To execute the construction of project in planned & systematic manner, the construction activities are ramified in three exclusive units viz. Unit I incapsulating Dam & appurtenant works, Unit II encompasses the canal infrastructure & distribution system and Unit III includes power related infrastructures. This was must to have proper monitoring, accounting & control over expenditure and to work out project's cost share of Gujarat state & RSEB in the context of unit I and unit III works, respectively.

Post dedication developments.

1. Towards the fag end of nineties a proposal was mooted to further raise the FRL of Mahi reservoir by 0.75 M i.e. raising it from 280.75 M to 281.50 M so as to avail additional yield of 4.3 TMC during affluent year for power generation to the tune of 134 lac units per year. For this sake it was proposed to add o.75 M flap to 16 Nos. Radial Gates of Mahi spillway without changing or altering the status of dam. This exercise of raising FRL by 0.75 M i.e. upto 281.50 M involved additional submergence to the tune of 380 ha. out of which 58 ha. is located in M.P. state. The proposal has been materialised and the work has been completed years back. However, desired benefits could not be drawn hitherto for want of approval/concurrence of M.P. government in the context of additional submergence of 58 ha.

2. The original command area configuration of Mahi Project was revised and rearranged by debarring 17,409 ha. CCA of irrigation tanks located within the original in the year 2000 by promulgating a corrigendum CCA of Mahi Project and hitherto unserved 4,670 ha. CCA of lift areas of LMC system, from Mahi's 80,000 ha. original command area. The area thus debarred was replaced with 21,843 ha. CCA pertaining to Anandpuri canal system, Bhungra canal system, Upper level canal and Ghatol area. The Central Water Commission, New Delhi has agreed to this revised configuration and has given his node in this context.

3. The CCA configuration of the project was further revised in the month of April 2001 and accordingly the proposed Upper Level Canal venture was abandoned and replaced with Mahi Sagwara Canal upto 8 Km including Nithauva disty. system. The State Government has given its nod to this configuration. This switch over shall ensure flow irrigation facility in 5,000 ha. CCA of adjoining Dungarpur district.


Nodal Officer : Er Inderjeet Bishnoi, Email :, Phone No. : 0141-2702672 Ext. 229