Turbines of hydroelectric projects in HP come to halt
Rains disrupts normal life in HP as well as power production
Shimla/ August 21
The high level of silt has shut down the turbines of many major hydroelectric projects in Himachal. These include country’s largest Nathpa-Jhakri hydropower (1500 MW), Karchham-Wangtoo (1000 MW) and Chamera -I and Chamera-II (231 MW) which were shut down since yesterday due to alarming rise in silt level.
While the other hydroelectric projects Bhawa ( 120 MW), Andhra in Shimla distrci both owned by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPBSEL) were also shut on early Tuesday morning hours. “Both these projects had stopped generating electricity on 3 A.M this morning due to increased level of silt,”Power Controller, HPSEBL, Joginder Singh said.
Nathpa Jhakri power plant has been closed from 10.30am on Monday after the silt level was found to be very high in Sutlej “In the evening hours silt level was found to be between 26,000 to 27,000ppm, additional general manager (corporate communication) of SJVN, Vijay Kumar Verma said .
“It is not safe to run the plant as high silt level in the water damages the machines. Plant would be started only when silt level would decrease,” he said. In 24 hours, Nathpa Jhakri plant produces 36 million units of power and on Monday the entire generation was lost.
The silt level rose to 57000 ppm (particle per million) at Khab while it was 13000 ppm at Nathpa dam against permissible level of 4000 ppm. The situation was worse in Karchham -Wangtoo and Baspa projects was no better and all the units of these projects generating about 3400 MW power have been closed to avoid damage to heavy machinery due to high silt level and in case the power generation was not resumed by tomorrow, the region would face acute power shortage.
The power generated through these three power plants is fed to the northern grid that caters to 28% of the country’s population.
Himachal Pradesh is witnessing heavy rainfall in the higher hills due to which the silt level has increased in the rivers.
Meanwhile the normal life was disrupted in many parts of Himachal as intermittent heavy rains wreaked havoc and triggered landslides at numerous places disrupting vehicular traffic.
One person was buried under debris in village Kuhed in Chamba district and a woman, Satya Devi died due to lightening in village Neelan in Bilaspur while dozens of houses and cowsheds were damaged in rains. About a dozen windmills and foot bridge were also washed away in interiors of Chamba and Kangra districts, reports reaching here said.
Continuous heavy rain in the 60 hours wreaked havoc in lower hills of Kangra damaging houses, roads, bridges, water supply schemes and school buildings and affecting power supply.
Vehicular traffic was suspended on several routes including Palampur-Dheera, Palampur-Khundian and Palampur-Thural routes and bus service remained suspended for the third day on Palampur-Barot and Kothi Kohar bus road.
Life was thrown out of gear in the Kangra valley following incessant rain for the third consecutive day with massive landslides blocking roads at many places and Air traffic also remained disrupted and both the Delhi-Kangra Kingfisher flights were cancelled.
Dharamsala which received about 900 mm of rains during past one week was wettest in the region with 87 mm rains till this morning while Hamirpur, Paonta sahib and Palampur received 80 mm, 70 mm and 64 mm of rains, followed by Karsog 62 mm, Nurpur 53 mm, Nahan 46 mm, Khari 44 mm,Sujanpur Tira 36 mm, Bhoranj 32 mm, Gaggal, Mandi and Baijnath 30 mm, Baldwara 26 mm, Kasauli and Mashobra 23 mm and Arki 20 mm.
The state capital remained engulfed in thick fog and intermittent rains continued to lash the town which received 15 mm of rains till this afternoon. The minimum temperatures remained stead in the region while the maximum day temperatures dropped by few notches in mid and lower hills.