Lower Ganga Basin Organization

About the Basin


About Ganga Basin

The Ganga sub-basin extends over an area of 1086000 sq. km and lies in India, Tibet (China), Nepal and Bangladesh. The drainage area lying in India is 861404 sq.km which is nearly 26.2% of the total geographical area of the country. The sub-basin is bounded on the north by the Himalayas, on the west by the Aravallisand the ridge separating it from Indus basin, on the south by the Vindhyas and Chhotanagpur plateaus and on the east by the Brahmaputra ridge. The sub-basin lies in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, West bengal, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Delhi. The State-wise distribution of the drainage area is given below:

Drainage area (sq.km)
Uttar Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh 
West Bengal     
Himachal Pradesh    
U.T. of Delhi


The main physical sub-divisions are the Northern Mountains, the Gangetic Plains and the Central Highlands. Northern Mountains comprises the Himalayan ranges including their foot hills. The Gangetic plains, situated between the Himalayas and the Deccan plateau, constitute the most fertile plains of the sub-basin ideally suited for intensive cultivation. The Central highlands lying to the south of the Great plains consists of mountains, hills and plateaus intersected by valleys and river plains. They are largely covered by forests. Aravali uplands, Bundelkhand upland, Malwa plateau, Vindhyan ranges and Narmada valley lie in this region.
Predominant soil types found in the sub-basin are sandy, loamy, clay and their combinations such as sandy loam, loam, silty clay loam and loamy sand soils. The culturable area of Ganga sub-basin is about 57.96 M.ha which is 29.5% of the total culturable area of the country.

River System

The Ganga originates as Bhagiratni from the Gangotri glaciers in the Himalayas at an elevation of about 7010m in Uttarkashi district of Uttar Pradesh and flows for a total length of about 2525 km up to its outfall into the Bay of Bengal through the former main course of Bhagirathi-Hooghly. The principal tributaries joining the river are the Yamuna, the Ramganga, the Ghaghra, the Gandak, the Kosi, the Mahananda and the Sone. Chambal and Betwa are the two important sub-tributaries. Click for basin map of the sub-basin showing the river system and other features.

Important Projects

The Ganga and Yamuna canal systems irrigate vast areas utilising the perennial flow of the river. Important storages constructed in the basin include Matatila, Sarda Sagar, Ramganga, Mayurakshi and DVC reservoirs. Some other important projectsare Rajghat on Betwa, Bansagar on Sone and Tehri on Bhagirathi .

Hydropower Development

The hydropower potential of the basin is 10715 MW at 60% load factor. A larger part of the potential remains to be exploited.

Central Water Commission Network

The Central Water Commission maintains 214 G&D sites in this sub basin. Sediment observations are taken at 87 of the above sites and water quality is monitored at 120 of the above sites. The CWC also operates 77 flood forecasting stations in this sub basin.

Other Organizations

Ganga basin, being a major interstate sub-basin, various Central and interstate bodies are involved in it planning, development and management. The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), established in 1948, forth promotion and operation of schemes in the Damodar Valley for its alround development, is the earliest such organisation. The participating States are Bihar and West Bengal and the Central Water Commission assisting in the reservoir regulation of the DVC system.

The Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC) was set up in 1972 by the Ministry of Water Resources Govt, of India, for preparing a comprehensive plan of flood control for the sub-basin, monitoring importan flood control projects in the sub-basin and providing technical guidance to the sub-basin States.
The Betwa Board was set up in 1973 for the execution of the interstate Rajghat dam on Betwa ir accordance with the interstate agreement between UP and MP. Similarly the Bansagar Control Board was constituted in 1976 for the early execution of Bansagar dam on Sone which is an interstate project of UP, MP and Bihar.