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Kalpasar Dam
Kalpasar Project is located in India
Kalpasar Project
Location of Kalpasar Dam in India
Coordinates21°27′21″N 72°24′57″E / 21.45583°N 72.41583°E / 21.45583; 72.41583
Official website Edit this at Wikidata
The Gulf of Khambat is at the right-lower-center of the map of Gujarat on the Arabian Sea.

The Kalpasar Project or the Gulf of Khambhat Development Project envisages building a 30 km dam across the Gulf of Khambat in India for establishing a huge fresh water coastal reservoir for irrigation, drinking and industrial purposes.[1][2] The project with 30 km sea dam will have the capacity to store 10 billion cubic meters fresh water, equating to 25% of Gujarat’s average annual rainwater flow, from the rivers like Narmada, Mahi, Dhadhar, Sabarmati, Limbdi-Bhagovo, and two other minor rivers.[3] A 10 lane road link will also be set up over the dam, greatly reducing the distance between Saurashtra and South Gujarat.[4] The project, which will create world's largest freshwater lake in marine environment, will cost INR90,000 crore or US$12.75 billion (2015-16 estimates with 8% annual inflation) excluding the cost of tidal power plant.[5] Project entails construction of the main "Kalpasar dam" across Gulf of Khambat and another Bhadbhut barrage on Narmada river, as well as a canal connecting the two.[6]

Spending began in earnest in 2004,[7] and by 2018 INR 250 crore has been spent on various feasibility studies and surveys.[5] By July 2019, 25 of the 43 feasibility studies for the ecological, environmental, social and financial impact, etc were complete; 8 more were underway; remaining 10 surveys will take 3 to 5 years to complete i.e. by 2021-23.[5] Detailed Project Report (DPR) was intended to be completed by the end of 2018.[8][3] The project, if found feasible, will take at least 20 years (by 2035-38) to complete including 3 to 5 years pre-construction feasibility studies which are presently underway, and further 12 to 15 years of construction thereafter which has not commenced yet.[5] As of 2018, no environmental or other clearances have been obtained for the Kalpasar dam.[3] Meanwhile the construction of the Bhadbhut barrage, which is a smaller component of the project, commenced in 2020.[9]

More than 30,000 MCM of water from Narmada river alone flows out annually into the sea due to the lack of storage capacity and dams, thus experts have been calling for a review of Gujarat's Water Policy to expedite the Kalpasar project.[10] Few more similar projects are on anvil to harness the surplus flood waters of Indian rivers.[11]



Kalpasar means a lake that fulfills all the wishes (कल्प+सर). The construction of the word is similar to कल्पवृक्ष, the Hindu mythological ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ (Devanagari: कल्पवृक्ष) – wishing tree.[12]


The Gulf of Khambhat was identified as a promising site for tidal power generation by UNDP Expert, Mr. Eric Wilson in the year 1975. Successive governments were then presented in details the possibility of a project, aptly named Kalpasar Project by its visionary Dr. Anil Kane, who conceptualised it in 80s as a feasible project. In 1988–89 a reconnaissance report was prepared for the dam across the Gulf of Khambhat. The report concluded that, assuming sound foundation conditions, the closure of the Gulf was technically feasible.[13] Studies are still going on and the length of the proposed dam is reduced and the tidal power component is dropped. The cost of project is estimated at 85,000 crore as of 2022.[14] It is reported that the project may take 20 years to complete if found feasible and approved.[15]

Project details


Kalpasar aims at the creation of a fresh water coastal reservoir in the Gulf of Khambhat by the construction of a dam connecting the east and west bank of the Gulf. In the reservoir the runoff from Sabarmati, Mahi, Dhadar and Narmada will be stored, together with the waters from the Saurashtra rivers discharging into the Gulf of Khambhat. The stored waters are to be used for irrigation, domestic and industrial water requirements in the Saurashtra region.[16] Kalpasar is considered the evident solution for solving on the short as well as on the long term the threatening drinking and irrigation water problems in Saurashtra.

Once the Gulf is closed, water levels within the reservoir can be controlled while the tidal fluctuation outside the reservoir continues and, hence, can be harnessed for the generation of tidal energy.

In addition to fresh water storage and tidal power generation, Kalpasar also aims at land reclamation, transportation improvements and fisheries development. In accordance with this project, a mega fresh water reservoir will be constructed on the upstream side of the dam by impounding the surplus waters of numerous rivers.

This project, will resolve four vital problems of the State of Gujarat which are water, electrical power, road-rail transport and development of ports.[12]

Scope and cost

Abandoned original plan and scope

Map of old proposal scope with larger 64 km long Kalpasar dam and tidal power plant, no longer valid.

The original plan envisaged a larger dam along with a tidal power plant.

A state government release said the Rs 55,000 crore (US$11.7 billion) project, to be completed by 2020, will have a vast fresh water reservoir with gross storage of 16,791 million cubic metres of water, 64 km long dam across the Gulf of Khambhat connecting Ghogha in Bhavnagar with Hansot in Bharuch District, reducing the distance between the two by 225 km. It will have tidal power generation house with an installed capacity of 5,880 MW. Another estimate was given by the Government in October 2010 which stated the proposed dam to be built just north of Bhavnagar in the west to Alandar in Dahej on the east.[17] In 2017, the revised project plan reduced the size of lake with only 30 km sea dam instead of original plan of 64 km long dam.[6]

Revised and reduced current scope

Map of the new and revised Proposed Kalpasar Project

In 2017 the scope and size of the dam project was reduced, instead of a longer Kalpasar dam across the Gulf of, it will now have a shorter Kalpasar dam across the Gulf of Khambat along with another Bhadbhut barrage on Narmada river and a canal connecting these two.[6] The Tidal power project has been dropped from the scope,[6] which could be taken up as a separate project.


Narmada river one of the 111 waterways in India which facilitate the water transport in India, the currently design of Bhadhut barrage by the Gujarat government would allow only lower capacity class III ships where as the union water transport ministry notification envisages higher capacity class IV ships, consequently union government has asked Gujarat government to upgrade the design of the barrage and shipping locks to facilitate the navigation of larger class IV ships.[18]

There are other ecological and environmental issues to be addressed as part of various feasibility studies being undertaken.

Current status

Planning stage
Feasibility surveys stage
Construction stage

Other water projects in the area

In December 2019, Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani laid the foundation stone for the 100 MLD water desalination plant in Dahej - which will be operational by 2022 - and 8 more such desalination plants will be built in Gujarat to meet the water needs of the state's industry.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Efficacy of coastal reservoirs to address India's water shortage by impounding excess river flood waters near the coast (page 49)". Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  2. ^ "International Association for Coastal Reservoir Research". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Gujarat water woes: Kalpsar project DPR likely by year end". Times of India. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  4. ^ "South Korea to Build Sea Wall in India". 18 March 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Kalpasar to take at least 20 years, if found feasible". Times of India. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kalpasar to take at least 20 years, if found feasible". The Times of India. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b Shah, Jumana (21 February 2018). "Gujarat government unclear on Kalpasar Dam project after spending crores". India News. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Eight Kalpsar feasibility studies still on: Gujarat government". Times of India. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani lays foundation for 100MLD desalination plant in Dahej, Times of India, 1 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Narmada dam capacity flowed into the sea". Times of India. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  11. ^ Sasidhar, Nallapaneni (May 2023). "Multipurpose Freshwater Coastal Reservoirs and Their Role in Mitigating Climate Change" (PDF). Indian Journal of Environment Engineering. 3 (1): 30–45. doi:10.54105/ijee.A1842.053123. ISSN 2582-9289. S2CID 258753397. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Kalpsar Project : World's Largest Lake". Newser. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Work on Gujarats Kalpasar project likely to commence by next year". 27 May 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Pre-Feasibility: Report Kalpasar Project" (PDF). June 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  15. ^ "Kalpasar to take at least 20 years, if found feasible – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  16. ^ "India is not running out of water, water is running out of India". 26 March 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Gujarat plans first over the sea dam". The Times of India. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  18. ^ a b Gujarat protests waterway body’s plan to repurpose Badhbhut barrage, Times of India, 11 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b ‘Bhadbhut barrage only solution to salinity ingress in Narmada, Times of India, 22 April 2018.
  20. ^ Current/new alignment map
  21. ^ "Modi's hankering for illusory legacy of mega water project" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Kalpasar Project". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Kalpasar Project (Yojana) : World's Largest Lake". 18 November 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  24. ^ "Hydraulic and morphological impact of a closure dam in the Gulf of Khambhat". Retrieved 15 December 2022.