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Hydrological Observation Stations Map

Hydrological Observation Stations Map


The Subernarekha basin extends over States of Jharkhand, Odisha and comparatively smaller part in West Bengal having a total area of 29,196 with a maximum length and width of about 297 km and 119 km. It lies between 85°8’ to 87°32’ east longitudes and 21°15’ to 23°34’ north latitudes. Situated in the north-east corner of the Peninsular India, the basin is bounded by the Chhotanagpur plateau on the north and the west, by the ridges separating it from Baitarani basin on the south, by the Bay of Bengal on the south-east and by the Kasai Valley of Kangsabati River on the east. The Subernarekha and the Burhabalang forms the major river systems in the basin. The Subernarekha River rises near Nagri village in the Ranchi District of Jharkhand at an elevation of 600 m. It flows for a length of 395 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal. Its principal tributaries joining from right are the Kanchi, the Karkari and the Kharkai. The Burhabalang rises from south of Similipal village in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha at an elevation of about 800 m and flows for a length of 164 km and drains into the Bay of Bengal. The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 53.76% of the total area and 2.39% of the basin is covered by water bodies. The basin spreads over 13 parliamentary constituencies (2009) comprising 5 of Jharkhand and 4 each of Odisha and West Bengal.

Salient Features of Subernarekha Basin
Basin Extent
85° 8’ to 87° 32’E
21° 15’ to 23° 34’ N
Length of River (Km)
Catchment Area ( 29196
Average Water Resource Potential (MCM)12370
Utilizable Surface Water Resource (MCM)6800
Live Storage Capacity of Completed Projects (MCM) 764.0
Live Storage Capacity of Projects Under Construction (MCM) 2388.00
Total Live Storage Capacity of Projects (MCM)3152.0
No. of Hydrological Observation Stations (CWCCentral Water Commission)12
No. of Flood Forecasting Stations (CWC) 2

The Subarnarekha is one of the longest east flowing inter-state rivers. It originates near Nagri village in Ranchi district of Jharkhand at an elevation of 600 m. The total length of the river is about 395 km. The principal tributaries of the river are Kanchi, Kharkai and Karkari.The basin lies between North latitudes of 21° 33’ to 23° 32’ and East longitudes of 85° 09’ to 87° 27’ situated in the North-East corner of the peninsular India. It is bounded on the North-West by the Chhotnagpur Plateau, in the South-West by Brahmani basin, in the South by Burhabalang basin and in the South-East by the Bay of Bengal. The total catchment area of the basin is 29196

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River System

The catchment areas of the important tributaries are given below.

Sl.No. Name of the River/ Tributary Bank Length(km) Catchment area(sq. km) % w.r.t total
1. Subernarekha Main Stream 395 7,383 39.0
2. Kanchi Right 76 1,096 5.8
3. Karkari Right 110 1,341 7.0
4. Kharkai Right 136 6,611 34.9
5. Raru Right 52 680 3.6
6. Garru Right 58 640 3.4
7. Dulang Left 84 1,200 6.3
Total 18,951 100.0

Climatic Characteristics

The basin is generally influenced by the South-West monsoon, which onsets in the month of June and extends upto October. The average annual rainfall for the basin is around 1800 mm. The climate in the sub-basin is tropical with hot summer and mild winters. The mean monthly temperature varies from 40.5° C (May) to 9.00 ° C (December). The highest temperature recorded is 47.2° C and the lowest is 2.8° C. Annual average maximum and minimum temperatures vary from 32.4° C to 18.0°C.


The geological formations occurring in the basin are (i) Pre-Cambrian or Achaean (ii) Tertiary and (iii) Alluvium plains. Out of these, Pre-Cambrian formations mostly cover Jharkhand and West Bengal regions and Tertiary and Alluvium plains cover the basin area in Orissa. The Achaean formations mostly comprise Geneiss, Micagenists, Phyllites, Dolomites and Granites. The underlying rock is highly undulating.This region contains some of the richest coal and ore deposits like iron and bauxite.

Water Storage/Diversion structures

Sl.No Name of Project River Status
1. Torlow (Tributary of Kharkai) Existing
2. Kadkai(Icha dam) Kharkai Existing
3. Nesa Nesa Existing
4. Kanchi Kanchi Existing
5. Aradih Kanchi Existing
6. Kokro Kokro Existing
7. Roru Barager Existing
8. Bamninala Bamninala Existing
9. Bijoy Sanjal Existing
10. Sona weir Sona Existing
11. Kharkai Dam Kharkai Ongoing
12. Kharkai Barrage Kharkai Ongoing
13. Chandil Dam Subernarekha Existing
14. Galudih Barrage Subernarekha Existing

Water Resources

  1. List of Major Medium Irrigation Projects in Subarnarekha Basin
  2. List of Dams in Subarnarekha Basin
  3. List of Barrages/Weirs in Subarnarekha Basin
  4. List of Lift Stations in Subarnarekha Basin
  1. List of Hydro Electric Projects in Subarnarekha Basin
  2. List of Powerhouses in Subarnarekha Basin
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