This dam was specially designed for flood control and generates 60,000 kW of electric power. There is an underground power station, the first of its kind in the whole of South East Asia. The dam is constructed on the Barakar River. The lake is spread over 65 square kilometres (25 sq mi).
DVC is the first-ever multipurpose river valley project of independent India which came into being on July 7, 1948 by an act of Constituent Assembly (Act no. XIV of 1948). DVC has its command area of approx 24,235 km² spreading across the Damodar basin. The upper valley consists of two entire districts (Dhanbad and Bokaro) and eight districts partly in the state of Jharkhand. The lower valley on the other hand consists of five districts partly (Burdwan, Hooghly, Bankura, Howrah and Purulia) in the state of West Bengal.
Maithon Dam has completed its 60 successful years in the service to the nation but, the maintenance of the reservoir is a matter of concern. In these 60 years the depth of the reservoir has decreased, so it gets flooded very soon. So to maintain the safe level the water has to be released through dams. It has a dual impact, first it hits badly to the irrigation in Burdwan District also the power generation capacity MHPS as the capacity of the reservoir has decreased in last 60 years.
The rain water takes a lot of soil with it and the same settles down in the reservoir causing decrease in the depth. There should be some corrective action taken to make the life of Maithon Dam.
There is also a pollution threat to the town as many industries are being set up in the locality. There is also a thermal power (MPS) being built in the locality. These are a lot of water-consuming industries and will consume water from the river Barakar itself. This is going to create pollution as well as water crisis in the area. The underground water level has already decreased over the years which further strains the water resources.