Close shave for 30 as Uhal-III project’s penstock bursts
Thirty engineers and workers had a close shave after penstock of Uhal-III power project bursted at Lad-Bhadol of Jogindernagar in Mandi district late on Saturday.
A penstock harnesses fast-running pressurised water and delivers it to the turbines for production of electricity in hydel projects.
As the penstock bursted, water and muck gushed into powerhouse premises trapping engineers and workers present inside and causing damage to the machinery. The spot where the burst occurred is 150-metre away from the powerhouse.
The 100m MV hydroelectric power project was in the testing phase.
Jogindernagar sub-divisional magistrate Amit Mehra said that as per report 8-megawatt electricity was being generated through one of the turbines.
“Penstock bursted when the engineers increased pressure to enhance the load to 16-megawatt. He said that one of the engineers climbed up the hillock, where the burst took place and closed the penstock valve, preventing further damage. The damage is being assessed,” he said.
Uhal-III hydropower project is being executed by HPSEBL-run Beas Valley Power Corporation (BVPC).
The HPSEBL had estimated the project cost at ₹1,000 crore and the project was to be completed by 2009. However, the project deadline was revised four times in the last 11 years, pushing the cost to ₹1,800 crore.
The cost overrun was caused by delay in land acquisition and non-performance by the contractors.
The project has three turbines of 33.3-megawatt capacity each. Once fully operational, the project will generate about 450 million units of electricity every year.