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dated September 29, 1957: 'Ruhr' of India

Prime Minister Nehru declared open the Rs.17-crore Maithon Dam at the confluence of the rivers Barakar and Damodar before a mammoth gathering, which included thousands of Santhal tribals, on September 27. He said the contiguous areas of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were fast becoming the ‘Ruhr’ of India. As Mr. Nehru switched on the electric gear, the 12 radial gates of the huge dam opened up to let water flow from a height of 162 feet. Congratulating the engineers and others who were engaged in the work, Mr. Nehru suggested that a memorial should be erected to those who had lost their lives during the early stages of its construction. He said the Maithon Dam and other DVC projects would benefit not only the people of West Bengal and Bihar but the whole of India. As a matter of fact, the benefits of the various development projects completed so far and under way would be enjoyed by generations of Indians even 200 years hence. The DVC projects were being undertaken with three ends in view: flood control, irrigation and power generation. Dedicating the dam to the people of India, Mr. Nehru said the dam was an example of international co-operation for American, German and French engineers had helped to complete the project.

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