Sonbhadra

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Sonbhadra or Sonebhadra is the largest district of Uttar Pradesh, India. The district has an area of 6788 km² and a population of 1,463,468 (2001 census), with a population density of 216 persons per km². It lies in the extreme southeast of the state, and is bounded by Mirzapur District to the northwest, Chandoli District to the north, Bihar state to the northeast, Jharkhand state to the east, Chhattisgarh state to the south, and Madhya Pradesh state to the west. The district headquarters is in the town of Robertsganj.

Geography Of Sonbhadra
The Son River flows through the district from east to west and its tributary the Rihand River, which rises to the south in the highlands of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, flows north to join the Son in the center of the district. The Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, a reservoir on the Rihand, lies partly in the district and partly in Madhya Pradesh. The district has historic, cultural, and ecological affinities with the Bagelkhand region, but the Uttar Pradesh government has included the district in Purvanchal region for administrative purposes. Obra a power project is located in this city. Robertsganj is the main city town. Almost 100 km from Varanasi, the cultural centre of Indian epitome of Vedic civilsation, holds a prime importance as the district headquarter. Sonbhadra is easily accessible from all parts of the country and well connected by air, rail & road.

Economy Of Sonbhadra
This region became an industrial heaven from an area of forest and hills. Some of the hills were having limestone and lot of them were having coal. There were some small rivers running through the area and the major river Sone that eventually merges with the river Ganga just before Patna.-

Owing to the limestone hills, initially one cement factory was established at Churk in 1956. Later another cement factory started at Dala in 1971 and ancillary unit of Dala got started at Chunar in 1980. These cement factories were the biggest producer of cement in the country till 1980. The cement factories became the foundation on which other industries were built. Next, in the queue was a big dam constructed at Pipri in 1961, named Rihand Dam. This created an artificial lake and was named after the first Chief Minister of UP “Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar”. The dam produced 300MW of electricity. The picture of Rihand Dam can be seen on some of our currency. Another small dam was constructed at Obra in 1968, 40 km from Rihand dam which generated 99 MW of electricity. So cement was used from the already available Churk cement factory to constructs dams, which provided electricity for other industries.-

The Birla group then set up an aluminum plant at Renukut, which is one of the biggest aluminum plant Hindalco. Why did the Birlas choose this region? The two main ingredients to make the aluminum plant a success – electricity and cement – were easily and locally available, and the important raw material (bauxite) was available in Jharakhand, which is adjacent to Sonebhadra district.- Later, the Birla group set up its own power plant at Renusagar in 1967. This plant has the current capacity of 887.2 MW and supplies the whole power to Hindalco. The Birlas also started a company in Renukut called HiTech Carbon. Another industrial group initiated a company in Renukut named Kanoria Chemicals, which produces chemicals and later it started own power plant at Renukoot in 1998 which generates 50 MW of electricity.-

Now cement, aluminum, water and 399 MW of electricity were easily available. Many hills in Sonebhadra and adjacent areas in MP contained open coal, which is always cheaper compared to coal in mines.-

The main requirement of thermal power is cheap coal and plenty of water, which this region had an abundance of. This set the stage for the development of another major industry, thermal power plants. A big thermal power plant construction was started at Obra in 1967 with support from Russian engineers and was successfully completed in 1971. This was biggest thermal power plant in Asia, with a capacity to produce 1550 MW of electricity.-

Another power plant was initiated at Anpara in 1980. It produces 1630 MW of electricity and has proposed to extend the capacity to 2630 MW. That is not all, the thermal power plant that NTPC started in Shaktinagar, generates 2050 MW. The plant in Vindhynagar generates 2260 MW and another plant at Bijpur generates 2000 MW. Northern Coalfields Ltd. has lot of open coal mines at Bina, Kakri, Dudhichua, Jayant, Kharia, Singrauli which has coal for next 100 years to generate 20000 MW of electricity.-

Three cement factories,one of the biggest aluminum plants, a carbon plant, a chemical factory and an energy hub to India, which generates 11000 MW with plans to reach 20000 MW. The whole country is benefiting from this region, which was once full of forests and hills, which seemed like infertile land. Last but not least, Geological Survey of India found gold in some hills in the form of veins at Mirchadhuri in 1990 and they are doing survey for finding Uranium. Also plan of big extension is running for existing power plant of Obra, Anpara, Rihandnagar, Vindhyanagar.-

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