After a 26 hour long operation firefighters were finally able to put out the blaze at the power house of the Sanjay Jal Vidyut Pariyojana hydroelectric power plant at Bhaba in Kinnaur district was doused. On Friday the district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and asked the Nichar subdivisional magistrate to submit the report within three days.
A major fire broke out at the state's first underground hydropower project, located about 180 km from Shimla, early on Thursday morning. The blaze erupted after an explosion in a transformer close to the power house that was immediately shut down, damaging a major portion of the plant and causing an estimated loss of Rs 18 lakh.
Kinnaur deputy commissioner DD Sharma, who visited the plant today and inspected the power house, said though the firefighting operation was over smoke still billowing from a 300 meter long tunnel at the plant. "I've ordered a magisterial probe into the incident and asked for the report to be filed within three days. Those conducting the probe have been tasked with ascertaining the cause of the fire and also finding out who were responsible. The probe will also look into the fire safety measures at the plant," he said.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board has been making efforts to resume power supply to the hydel station. A board official who requested anonymity said the power house was still without electricity. "Our main priority is to restore power supply and resume generation," he said.
The board's chairman and managing director, PC Negi, said a committee headed by chief engineer (generation) BM Sood with superintending engineers of the general, protection and project design as members had been set up. "We have written to the firm that installed the machinery inside the power house so that the damage can be assessed. The 10 megavolt amperes transformer was checked and declared fit to use before it was installed.
It was damaged in the fire now we have to check whether the switchgear that was installed above the transformer is safe or not.
A 120 kV cable lying at the fire site is also said to have been partially damaged. We are making a concerted effort to resume power generation at the dam, since we are losing around 600,000 units daily on an average," he added.