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River Damodar is called sorrow of Bengal. Explain why?

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Damodar River flows across Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is said that it’s very rich in minerals and the soil in this area is like the foundation of life. It’s what plants need to grow and what supports the whole ecosystem around the river. Now, the soil here isn’t just your regular run-of-the-mill dirt Because the soil is rich in minerals. A of mining is done here. So let’s move into the world of the Damodar River – a river that has a unique reputation as the “Sorrow of Bengal.” It’s like this river has two sides to it – one that’s a giver of life and the other that brings massive floods.


Damodar river as Sorrow of Bengal

Sorrow of Bengal

So you are wondering why it provides fertile soil with a lot of minerals and much more so why it is called a river of sorrow. It is very useful but also very dangerous for people because of the huge amount of waterfalls that occur at the Chotanagpur plateau. Because of that flooding become very common there. So because of heavy rainfall a huge amount of water flows through Damodar which causes flooding. It occurs mostly in monsoon months which start here in July and end in August. Even the floods are celebrated as an annual ritual here. But sometimes the flooding was so high that it damaged the whole town Mainly during the years 1770, 1855, 1913, and 1943. A lot of damage is caused. During the year 1943, it destroyed houses, lives of people all the works, agriculture fields were damaged. It was totally a boon thats why in 1943 damodar gets the name river of sorrow.

Damodar Valley Corporation (D.V.C)

This corporation is formed by government on 7 July 1948. Its the first multipurpose river project taken by india when it become independent. As they we well aware of flooding and the huge amount of water that flows here during rainfall. They decided to make a dam here which would be used to generate hydroelectricity. In order to supply power. It prevent the water from causing flooding and damage to areas, people. Additionally it creates job and income opportunities for the people living in the area or outside. For doing this project DVC is formed .The initial dam was constructed on the Barakar River, which is a tributary of the Damodar River, at Tilaiya in the year 1953. Following that, a second dam was erected on the Konar River, which is another tributary of the Damodar River, at Konar in 1955. So the purpose of DVC is to be updated about the flood that may occur at this area and take actions to use that for good.

How efficient is DVC?

Its not that effiecient in its tasks as its a government organisation. For example this year in mid july august, there is flooding in Damodar region that caused a lot of damage in southern bengal 15 people have been died due to this and approximately 300000 left the region due to flooding issues. Chief minister of state mamta banerjee said these are man made floods, due to improper management of water in dam She also wrote a 4 page letter to central government stating the problems related to damodar valley corporation

In the letter to she wrote that the dams buid by DVC are quite old and are now not that suitable for controls water. Also there capacity is lowered because of sediment accumulation and a lack of proper maintenance. While after this dvc corporation denied all the claims on them and said that water due to which flooding is caused is left on the orders which were given by state government. This incident shows us the problems in the management

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages and disadvantages of the phenomenon are as follows:


  • As we know soil is very fertile with lot of minerals in damodar region and good availiability of water of here makes it an excellent place for agriculture purposes.
  • For stopping the rainfall from causing floods a lots of dams have been build here which collects and then converts the rain water into hydroelectricity which acts as main power source for households living at that place
  • A lot of industrial processes are only possible due to the presence of river here. It also acts as a mean of transportations many things have been transported in and easy and simple manner through water ways.
  • This river helped this place in becoming an international tourist space a lot of activities such as boating, swimming, nature view and many other water activities is only possible due to existence of river here.
  • Due to international tourism here and presence of large dams, people are getting lots of employment opportunities and they can get job in various tourism places or dams.


  • Floods caused due to damodar river result in property damage, disruption of livelihoods, and loss of life.
  • Constructing dams and embankments can disturb natural water flows, harm aquatic habitats, and affect the overall ecosystem. The life of all the living organism living in water will be adversely affected by dam. and also the natural way by which river should flow would be changed by this
  • Floodwaters carry pollutants and contaminants, risking water quality and causing waterborne diseases during floods.
  • Because on lot of infrastructure development in damodar river area a lot of people have to leave the place where they are living they have to change there traditional place.
  • Intensive industrialization in the Damodar Valley can degrade water quality and pollute the river due to industrial waste discharge. It also causes harm to nature. Because industrial waste could be very dangerous and can cause pollution to the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major reasons that Damodar river is names “River of Sorrow”?

As we have read above damodar is known as river of sorrows because of flooding that happens due to it which causes massive destruction. Due to heavy rainfall flooding in damodar is common.

Provide a brief about Damodar Valley Corporation (D.V.C)

Its an organisation formed by government to look stop flooding which is caused due to heavy rainfall. They collect the water and use it for producing hydroelectricity.

What problems assosiated with Damodar river floods?

Damodar River floods precipitate loss of life, property harm, displacement of communities, disruption of agricultural activities, and economic setbacks in the affected locales.

What contributes to the Damodar River’s proneness to floods?

The heavy rainfall that occurs in chotanagpur plateau is main reason for floods. Because of heavy rainfall water flows through damodar river which lead to water to overflow

What initiatives are taken by Government to control floods in this areas?

They have taken initiatives such as formation of embankments reservoirs and dams. The inception of the Damodar Valley Corporation aimed to comprehensively tackle the river’s flooding and capitalize on its resources.

What are benefits that damodar river provides apart from flooding?

As we have also read in above article. It provides benefits such for irrigation due to existence of fertile soil, hydroelectricity is generated from here, and due to dams opportunities are created

What lessons can be extrapolated from the Damodar River’s narrative for other regions?

The Damodar River’s tale underscores the significance of integrated river management and equitable resource utilization in mitigating destructive floods while harnessing a river’s latent advantages.

Last Updated : 06 Oct, 2023
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