Exploring the Mayurakshi River: A Tale of Beauty and Challenges
250-km long, the Mayuraksh River originates from the Trikut hill, Jharkhand, and flows through the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal in India. It is one of the major River of Jharkhand and West Bengal, known for devastating floods in monsoon seasons.
The Mayurakshi River, also known as the Mor River, winds its way through the picturesque landscapes of Jharkhand and West Bengal, India, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s history. This article delves into the river’s origin, its scenic charm, and the challenges it poses, from devastating floods to ambitious dam projects. Join us on a journey along the Mayurakshi as we explore its enchanting peacock eyes and the efforts to tame its wild spirit.
The Enchanting Peacock Eyes:
Mayurakshi, a name translating to “peacock eyes” in English, perfectly captures the river’s allure. This poetic name is inspired by the crystal-clear waters that the river showcases during dry seasons, resembling the mesmerizing feathers of a peacock’s tail. However, as the monsoons arrive, the river transforms into a force to be reckoned with, often breaching its banks and causing widespread destruction, even in the era of the Massanjore Dam.
A History of Perilous Floods:
The Mayurakshi River, like many others originating in the Chota Nagpur Plateau, relies heavily on seasonal rains. These rivers, including the Mayurakshi, have historically brought devastation through their annual floods. Records from L.S.S. O’Malley’s Bengal District Gazetteers vividly depict the impact of these floods. In 1787, a high flood swept away villages, crops, and even inhabitants. In 1806, the Mayurakshi, along with the Ajay River, witnessed an extraordinary rise, submerging entire villages. In September 1902, heavy rains caused the Brahmani and Mayurakshi rivers to inundate the surrounding areas, with water depths reaching 4 to 6 meters.
The Massanjore Dam: A Canadian Contribution:
The Massanjore Dam, also known as the Canada Dam, stands as a testament to international cooperation. Funded through supplies from Canada, this dam project was commissioned in 1955 and formally inaugurated by Lester B. Pearson, Canada’s Foreign Minister. Located near Dumka in Jharkhand, this imposing structure, with a height of 47 meters and a length of 660 meters, sits approximately 38 kilometers upstream from Siuri in West Bengal. The reservoir, covering 67.4 square kilometers at full capacity, boasts a storage capacity of 617 million cubic meters, all at a cost of Rs. 16.10 crore.
Tilpara Barrage: A Barrier Downstream:
Downstream from the Massanjore Dam, the Tilpara Barrage, situated near Suri, spans 309 meters in length. This barrier, with a cost of Rs. 1.11 crore, plays a vital role in managing the river’s flow and ensuring the safety of downstream areas.
Chronic Flooding and Embankments:
In the period from 1960 to 2000, only five years experienced minimal flooding, with less than 500 square kilometers of land inundated. The flood of 1978, fueled by 72 hours of continuous and concentrated rainfall, led to significant damage, affecting vast regions. Construction of embankments along rivers like Mayurakshi, Dwarka, Brahmani, and Ajay has become a critical structural measure to protect vulnerable populations from recurrent floods.
Irrigation and Power Generation:
The Massanjore Dam’s impact extends beyond flood control. It ensures the irrigation of approximately 2,400 square kilometers of land, resulting in an estimated annual increase of 400,000 tons of food production. Additionally, the dam generates 2,000 kW of electric power, contributing to the region’s development and sustainability.
Tributaries and Beyond:
The Mayurakshi River, with its tributaries including Kopai, Brahmani, Dwaraka, and Bakreshwar, continues to shape the landscape of Jharkhand and West Bengal. As efforts persist to harness its potential and mitigate the challenges it presents, the river remains a central figure in the region’s ongoing story.
Jharkhand’s Longest Bridge Over Mayurakshi River in Dumka
Jharkhand has marked a significant milestone with the completion of its longest bridge over the majestic Mayurakshi River in Dumka. This engineering marvel spans an impressive 2340 meters and comes with a price tag exceeding 198 crores. Its importance extends far beyond its dimensions, as it connects two villages, Kumdabad and Makrampur, which had been separated by the river following the construction of the Massanjore Dam.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this bridge is its role in reducing the distance between Dumka city and several rural areas. It’s not just a functional marvel; it also offers breathtaking scenic views that have begun to draw tourists from far and wide.
The bridge boasts an impressive design with 52 spans and 51 piers, ensuring its structural integrity and stability. What’s more, it features a width of 16 meters, which expands to a generous 30 meters in seven spans. These widened sections serve as perfect selfie points and convenient parking zones for visitors.
In addition to enhancing connectivity and fostering economic growth in the region, Jharkhand’s longest bridge over the Mayurakshi River is a testament to engineering excellence and a newfound attraction for tourists. Its completion stands as a symbol of progress and a gateway to breath-taking vistas, promising a bright future for Dumka and the surrounding areas
The Mayurakshi River, with its enchanting name and multifaceted character, embodies the beauty and challenges of nature. From the resplendent peacock eyes that captivate during the dry season to the formidable floods that test resilience, this river has a profound impact on the lives of those living along its banks. As initiatives like the Massanjore Dam and embankments continue to evolve, the Mayurakshi River remains both a source of inspiration and a reminder of nature’s power.