Roorkee, which at one point of time was a small village, has today grown into a well developed town and can well be termed as the intellectual capital of Uttarakhand.
It would be interesting to know that the famous Ganga Canal was initially designed to carry 6,750 cusecs. Its bed width was fixed at 140 feet and water depth at 10 feet. A bid slope of 1.5 feet per mile was adopted. The area commanded by it was 14,75,000 acres.
The supply of irrigation was restricted between 30 to 45 per cent of the commanded area. The canal has since then remodelled and today it is capable of passing 10,500 cusecs. The system comprises 570 miles of the main canal and branches and 3,560 miles of distributaries and minors.
What gives exclusivity to Ganga Canal is the fact that at a distance of every six kilometres in 18 kilometre stretch, Solani Aqueduct, Dhanuri Level Crossing and Ranipur Super Passage make a consistent appearance.
IIT is another reason that makes Roorkee a globally recognisable face. It would be of great interest to know that the famed IIT has its genesis in Roorkee College constituted in 1847 with the purpose of providing survey and technical training to the locals for the construction of Ganga Canal.
The institute was elevated to the status of Independent India’s first engineering university in 1949. And on September 21, 2001 Government of India elevated this institute to the level of IIT.
It would not be a misnomer to state that IIT Roorkee is a jewel not only for Roorkee or Uttarakhand, but a pride for the entire nation.
No description of Roorkee can be complete without the mention of Roorkee Cantonment. One of the oldest cantonments in the country, it is the headquarter of Indian Army’s Bengal Engineering Group and Centre, also popular as Bengal Sappers.
War memorial is another highpoint of Roorkee. Replica of Mahmood’s tower, it is one of the attractions of Roorkee and was built to commemorate the bravery of Subedar Devi Singh and his men who stormed the Ghazni fort in Afghanistan.
Roorkee is also home to several important research centres. Some of the important ones are:
• Central Building Research Institute (Government of India)
• National Institute of Hydrology (M/o of Water Resources, Government of India)
• Irrigation Research Institute (Under State Government)
• Irrigation Design Organisation (Under State Government)
• Government Irrigational Workshop (Under State Government)
Roorkee is also famous for its Drawing and Survey Instrument Industry. Right from the time of British, Roorkee has remained an important place for the manufacture of survey instruments.
Construction of Ganga Canal, coming up of the engineering college, and later the shifting of Bengal Engineering Group and Centre gave much needed boost to the survey instrument industry.
Today there are 75 big, small survey and drawing instrument units which are into production of instruments worth crores of rupees annually.
With the export-oriented industry expecting a boom, the annual export of the industries of Roorkee is expected to touch a whopping Rs. 70 crore mark.