Water History

The Doab

Bulandshahr district, forming a part of Ganga-Yamuna Doab, lies in the western part of U.P. Eastern boundary of the district being define by river Ganga. The district is almost a monotonous plain with occurrence of sand dunes, and sandy ridges, ravineous tracts and depressions close to river Ganga. At times, close to other minor rivers also, occurrence of minor sandy mounds can be seen. At places, close to river system, bad land topography have developed which is due to differentiated erosions. Kankar-lenses and beds are seen exposed and forms mounds. The fertile and cultivated soil expanses are sometimes broken by barren expanses of flat lands which are user lands having kankar at shallow depth as well as having alkaline soils on the surface spread as white sheet.


Narora is located on the banks of river Ganges, in district Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. Narora has several bathing locations or steps (Ghats) for holy dip in the Ganges. The view from Narora Dam is very scenic.

The modern residential colony of the staff of Narora Atomic Power Plant, (NAPS), is just near the dam. Its statue and parks are also worth a visit. Belon-wali Mata mandir (Temple of Mother-goddess) is just 5 kilometres from Narora. The nearest railway station is Rajghat Narora which is 5 kilometres from Narora. For holy dip in the Ganges several ghats Viz. Rajghat, Karnvaas, Narvar, Kalakatti, Ramghat etc are available for tyhe vbisitors.

Dolphins are sighted on a 160 kilometres stretch in the upper part of the Ganges between Bijnor and Narora Barrage There are many parks for recreation but the park of considerable importance and significance is NAPS Stadium.


“At Narora we saw the barrage on Ganga, diverting most of the water of the mighty Ganga to the Lower Ganga canals going to large number of districts of Uttar Pradesh. The 922.7 m long barrage, called Choudhary Charansinh Barrage, has capacity to divert 240 cumecs (cubic meters for second) of water, which means very little water flows to the downstream river in most non monsoon months. The water diverted also goes for thermal power project, the Narora Atomic Power Station and also industries and urban areas.Water Flowing down the fish ladder at Narora barrage (Photo by SANDRP)Water Flowing down the fish ladder at Narora barrage (Photo by SANDRP)

But what took us to Narora was something totally different. This barrage constructed during 1962 to 1967 has a unique feature: a fish pass. This is to facilitate the fish to travel from downstream to upstream. When we visited the barrage, we did see some water flowing down the pass, but we did not see any fish travelling up the fish ladder. However, the WWF-India Field office friends we were visiting told us that in monsoon a lot of fish does climb up.

We also realized that the size of the fish ladder was too small for larger fish like dolphins which exist even today upstream from the barrage.”Water Flowing down fish ladder at Narora Barrage (Photo by SANDRP)Water Flowing down fish ladder at Narora Barrage (Photo by SANDRP)So the most remarkable thing was that a barrage constructed way back in 1960s, had a functioning fish pass. That means not only was there consciousness about the need for fish to travel up the dam, but they also managed to design one that functions even today in monsoon, as we are told. Unfortunately, none of the dams recently constructed has functioning fish ladder, even though a number of them have fish ladders, including Farakka, Larji Dam in Himachal Pradesh and Kurichu in Bhutan.”

– South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People

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