The Farakka Barrage Project was completed in 1975, with the primary objective of preservation & maintenance of the Calcutta Port and for increasing the navigation depth of the Bhagirathi - Hooghly waterway. The Project comprises of a 2225 m long barrage across river Ganga at Farakka in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, a canal head regulator at Farakka for diverting water to feeder canal, a 38.38 km long feeder canal (a part of the Haldia –Allahabad Inland Waterway No.-1), to drain out the augmented flows to river Bhagirathi. It has navigation locks at Farakka and Jangipur besides residential colonies at Farakka, Ahiron and Khejuriaghat (having around 4000 dwelling units). Its appurtenant works include flood embankments, marginal bunds, afflux bunds and guide bunds, etc. The Farakka Barrage also acts as road-cum-rail bridge across the river Ganga at Farakka and connects NE region with rest of the country.
Farakka Barrage Project is headed by General Manager of Chief Engineer level from Central Water Engineering Services Cadre from Central Water Commission. GM is also assisted by Four No. of Superintending Engineers, eleven no. of Executive Engineers and supporting technical and non-technical officers/ officials.
The Farakka Barrage Project is a subordinate office under the administrative control of the Ministry of Water Resources and thus, requisite funds are provided by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, from its budget. The scheme “Farakka Barrage Project” is an on-going central sector scheme under Transport Sector. A provision of Rs.558 crore has been made during XII Plan under XII Plan scheme of FBP.
During the last 38 years, river Ganga engulfed more than 50,000 ha of agricultural land and public property along its left bank in Malda district, upstream of the Farakka Barrage, and it is feared that, unless anti-erosion works are undertaken and completed in this reach starting from Manikchakghat area to the Barrage, the river may change its course further towards left bank, outflanking the Farakka barrage during the high floods. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, the Ministry of Water Resources extended the jurisdiction of Farakka Barrage Project up to 40km upstream and to 80 km downstream of the Barrage in January’2005 in consultation with the state government of West Bengal; so that the anti-erosion works along the river Ganga-Padma, in critical reaches, could be undertaken by the Farakka Barrage Project with due priority. Initially FBP had its jurisdiction 12.5 km u/s and 6.9 km d/s from the Farakka Barrage. Project is also a controlling point for implementation of Ganga Water Treaty 1996 between India and Bangladesh.
During XII Plan, it is also proposed to complete the replacement/renovation of all the 123 Gates of the Farakka Barrage and Head Regulator of the feeder Canal.