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Affect of the Farakka Dam on siltation along the Hooghly River

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The dam was built to divert the Ganges River water into the Hooghly River during the dry season, from January to June, in order to flush out the accumulating silt which in the 1950s and 1960s was a problem at the major port of Calcutta on the Hooghly River.

Bangladesh and India have had many debates about how the Farakka Barrage cuts off Bangladesh's water supply. Also in Bangladesh, the diversion has raised salinity levels, contaminated fisheries, hindered navigation, and posed a threat to water quality and public health. Lower levels of soil moisture along with increased salinity have also led to desertification.

 

 

 A study conducted in the United States by Bridge and Husain, have identified Farakka as the root cause behind arsenic poisoning with groundwater in Bangladesh. A report of 2004 stated that over 80 rivers of Bangladesh dried up during last three decades due to the construction of the Farakka barrage by India. Some environmentalists have termed Farakka Barrage as the greatest man-made economic disaster of our time.

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