Baitarani River: A Geographical Overview

Baitarani River, a significant east-flowing river in peninsular India, plays a crucial role in the agricultural landscape of Odisha. Originating in the Gonasika hills, its unique underground flow adds to its uniqueness.

Geographical Features:

  1. Source and Initial Course:
    • Begins in Gonasika hills, resembling a cow’s nostril.
    • Flows underground for about half a kilometer.
  2. Regional Significance:
    • Known as Guptaganga or Gupta Baitarani in Odisha.
    • Serves as a border between Odisha and Jharkhand.
  3. Tributaries:
    • Budhi, Kanjori, Ambajhara, Mushal, Kusei, and Salandi.
  4. Flow and Direction:
    • Travels north for 80 km before a sharp right turn near Champua.
    • Joins Brahmani in the deltaic area after a southeast flow.

Challenges and Developments:

  1. Meandering Flow:
    • Turbulent meandering channels causing eddy currents and flooding.
    • Dams and barrages irrigate 61,920 hectares, with more projects planned.
  2. River Basin Dynamics:
    • Majority in Odisha, with a small part in Jharkhand.
    • Upper basin prone to flooding, impacting industrial and agricultural activities.
  3. Industrial Impact:
    • Abundant resources attract industrial and mining activities.
    • Development contributes to water quality deterioration.

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