National Geographic : 1960 Oct
bring large areas of arid land under cultiva tion. Started during British rule, the intri cate system of canals, power plants, and dams is being rapidly enlarged by the Indian Gov ernment. Perhaps its most ambitious part is the Bhakra Dam, in the Punjab area. Con sidered by many engineers to be the most difficult project of its kind ever attempted, it will be the highest in Asia. Mr. Manly Harvey Slocum, the American adviser on Bhakra's construction, had much more to say of the project's importance. Called by Indians the "mother and father of Bhakra," this peppery man with steel-gray hair and amber eyes led us on a breathless tour of the nearly completed dam. "It used to be that power was the tail of the dog," he told us. "Now power is the dog itself, and irrigation is the tail. Bhakra can do more for the industrial progress of India than any other project conceived." India is well aware of the importance of rapid industrialization; more than half the budget for her Second Five Year Plan is de 456 Lofty Bhakra Dam Corks the Sutlej, Impounding Water for Thirsty Fields The new dam will block a gorge in the Siwalik Range, where engineers scooped out more than 140 million cubic feet of earth before sinking the foundations 190 feet below the riverbed. Enough concrete will go into the 740-foot-high dam to build a one-lane road 5,000 miles long. By harnessing the Sutlej, India will gen erate 450,000 kilowatts of electricity and irrigate 10 million arid acres. The river passes within 50 miles of the Ganges head waters, but flows in the opposite direction and merges with the Indus. Literary treasures fill the library of His Highness Sir Yadavindra Singh, Maharaja dhiraj of Patiala. He shows Mrs. Schreider a 17th-century volume containing works of the celebrated Persian poet Sa'di. Diamonds and rubies stud the volume at his elbow.