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Mahanadi River

  • 18 Aug 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a heavy rainfall causing the flood situation in the Mahanadi River, Odisha.

  • The low-pressure area is expected to form over the north Bay of Bengal and trigger heavy rainfall at a few places in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

What is the India Meteorological Department (IMD)?

  • IMD was established in 1875.
  • It is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

What are the Key Points of Mahanadi River?

  • About:
    • The Mahanadi River system is the third largest of peninsular India after Godavari and Krishna, and the largest river of Odisha state.
    • The catchment area of the river extends to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
    • Its basin is bounded by the Central India hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and east and by the Maikala range in the west.
  • Source:
    • It rises from a place near Sihawa, near Raipur in the state of Chhattisgarh to the south of Amarkantak.
  • Major Tributaries:
    • The Seonath, the Hasdeo, the Mand and the Ib joins Mahanadi from left whereas the Ong, the Tel and the Jonk joins it from right.
  • Mahanadi River Dispute:
  • Major Dams/Projects on Mahanadi:
    • Hirakud Dam: This is the longest dam of India.
    • Ravishankar Sagar, Dudhawa Reservoir, Sondur Reservoir, Hasdeo Bango and Tandula are other major projects.
  • Urban Centres :
    • Three important urban centres in the basin are Raipur, Durg and Cuttack.
  • Industries:
    • Mahanadi basin, because of its rich mineral resource and adequate power resource, has a favourable industrial climate.
      • Iron and Steel plant at Bhilai
      • Aluminium factories at Hirakud and Korba
      • Paper mill near Cuttack
      • Cement factory at Sundargarh.
    • Other industries based primarily on agricultural produce are sugar and textile mills.
    • Mining of coal, iron and manganese are other industrial activities.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. Consider the following rivers: (2015)

  1. Vamsadhara
  2. lndravati
  3. Pranahita 
  4. Pennar

Which of the above are tributaries of Godavari?

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) 2 and 3 only

Ans: (d)


  • The Godavari River originates in Triambakeshwar, Maharashtra. It flows in the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, etc. It empties into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Its left bank tributaries include Pranahita, Indravati (combined waters of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha and Vainganga), Sabari etc., while its right bank tributaries include Pravara, Manjira, Maner, etc. Hence, 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Vamsadhara river flows in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and falls into the Bay of Bengal but it does not join the Godavari river. Hence, 1 is not correct.
  • Pennar river flows in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and falls into the Bay of Bengal. It also does not join the Godavari. Hence, 4 is not correct.
  • Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.


Q. What do you understand by Run-of-river hydroelectricity project? How is it different from any other hydroelectricity project? (2013)

Q. The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods, and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. (2020)

Source: IE

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