» Evolution » Formation
a legacy to the people of India, emerged as a culmination
of attempts made over a whole century to control
the wild and erratic Damodar river. The river spans
over an area of 25,000 sq. kms covering the states
of Bihar (now Jharkhand) & West Bengal.
The Damodar Valley has been ravaged frequently by
floods of varying intensities and the first of the
major recorded flood dates back to 1730. Thereafter
serious floods occurred at regular intervals, but
it was the flood of 1943 that left the worst devastation
in its wake. As a result, the Governor of Bengal
appointed a Board of Inquiry headed by the Maharaja
of Burdwan and the noted physicist Dr. Meghnad Saha
as member. In their report, the Board suggested
creation of an authority similar to the Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA) of United States of America.
The Government of India then appointed Mr. W.L.
Voorduin, a senior engineer of the TVA to make recommendations
for comprehensive development of the valley. Accordingly,
in August, 1944, Mr. Voorduin submitted his "Preliminary
Memorandum on the Unified Development of the Damodar
Mr. Voorduin’s "Preliminary Memorandum"
suggested a multipurpose development plan designed
for achieving flood control, irrigation, power generation
and navigation in the Damodar Valley. Four consultants
appointed by the Government of India examined it.
They also approved the main technical features of
Voorduin’s scheme and recommended early initiation
of construction beginning with Tilaiya to be followed
By April 1947, full agreement was practically reached
between the three Governments of Central, Bengal
and Bihar on the implementation of the scheme and
in March 1948, the Damodar
Valley Corporation Act (Act No. XIV of 1948)
was passed by the Central Legislature, requiring
the three governments – the Central Government
and the State Governments of West Bengal and Bihar
(now Jharkhand) to participate jointly for the purpose
of building the Damodar Valley Corporation.
The Corporation came into existence on 7th July,
1948 as the first multipurpose river valley project
of independent India.