Sukwa dam in Bundelkhand bags global heritage honour

The over 100-yearold Sukwa Dukwan dam, 50 km off Jhansi, has been recognised as a World Heritage Irrigation Structure by International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage.

The honour was accorded to the British-era engineering marvel for being “an innovative structure that helped boost agriculture and economic development in the water-stressed Bundelkhand region for over 100 years”.

Jal Shakti minister Mahendra Singh said, the weir or dam, often referred to as the ‘Niagra Falls of Bundelkhand’, had been serving irrigation and drinking water needs of UP for generations.

CID, a non-profit international organisation which works on irrigation, drainage and flood management, had started a project to identify heritage irrigation structures across the world. To qualify for inclusion in its list, a structure had to more than 100 years old with its features unchanged and still serving the purpose for which it was constructed.

Umesh Kumar, executive engineer, Betwa Canal, Jhansi division, said the dam, built across the Betwa river, was constructed in 1906 and has remained unchanged over the years. “With a capacity of 57 million cubic metre, the weir irrigates an area of more than 2 lakh hectares every year. The weir serves irrigation and drinking water needs of Jalaun, Jhansi and some parts of Hamirpur districts in the state. It also provides water supply to the Datia district in Madhya Pradesh,” Kumar said.

A government spokesperson said, ICID annually recognises irrigation structures of international significance on lines of World Heritage Sites recognised by UNESCO.

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