Large Dams in India. Rohini Pande, January 2007, Paper. “At independence, in 1947, there were fewer than 300 large dams in India. By the year 2000 the number had grown to over 4000, more than half of them built between 1971 and 1989. India ranks third in the world in dam building, after US and China. While some of these dams were built primarily for flood control, water supply, and hydroelectric power generation, the primary purpose of most Indian dams (96 percent) remains irrigation. In fact, large dam construction has been the main form of investment in irrigation undertaken by the Indian government...”