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Power generation disrupted as continuous rain lash Himachal Pradesh

Shutting down of these three hydel projects will lead to power shortage of 3,200 megawatt in the country’ s northern grid as they are the biggest electricity suppliers to the grid.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2018 10:55 IST
Gaurav Bisht/Naresh K Thakur
Gaurav Bisht/Naresh K Thakur
Hindustan Times, Shimla/Dharamshala
1,500-megawatt Nathpa Jhakri hydropower plant has been shut due to heavy silt deposit in dams.(HT File )

Continuous rain have disrupted power generation in three major hydroelectricity power projects — 1,500-megawatt Nathpa-Jhakri, 1,091-megawatt Karcham-Wangtoo and 412 megawatt Rampur hydro power plants.

Shutting down of these three hydel projects will lead to power shortage of 3,200 megawatt in the country’ s northern grid as they are the biggest electricity suppliers to the grid.

They were shut as torrential rain in Sutlej catchment area led to heavy silt deposit in the dams of the power projects.

“This is for the fifth time in the rainy season that the power generation had been suspended due to high silt levels. The power plants will resume operation when the silt level reduces,” said additional chief secretary (power) Tarun Kapoor.

Jindal Steel Work (JSW) promoted Karcham-Wangtoo power project released water from its dam, located at Wangtoo, and closed down its power-generating units.

Rampur and Nathpa Jhakri power plants are run by Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited.

“Silt-level rose after the JSW released water from its dam in Karcham and we had to open radial gates at Nathpa to release water,” assistant general manager at NJPC project, Manoj Kumar said.

Nathpa dam released 1,500 cumecs (cubic metre per seconds) of water to flush out silt from dams, which caused damage to its turbines.

Rivers in spate

“Sutlej river is in spate but still flowing below danger-mark in Rampur,” said Rampur sub-divisional magistrate Narender Chauhan, adding that the power project authorities issued an advisory cautioning people not venture out near the river.

Administration in Kullu, Mandi and Kangra has issued warning to the people and tourists not to venture near the river. The high inflow of water has also raised water level in Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra, which has crossed 1,310-feet mark.

Roads blocked

Rain continued to wreak havoc in Kangra and Chamba region, damaging public and private property worth crores of rupees.

Around half-a-dozen link roads in rural areas were closed due to landslides in Lanj and Shahpur area of Kangra district. Sub-divisional officer of public works department Vijay Sharma said a small bridge was damaged at Salol while the Harnera-Shahpur road was closed due to landslides.

A man, identified as Ram Vishwas, 28, was injured after being hit by debris at an under-construction building site in Jawali area and was admitted in the local hospital.

Two houses collapsed in Sunehad village of Nagorta Bagwan sub-division. Mainja-Paror road was closed due to landslide and power supply was also disrupted for hours after a tree fell on electricity wires in Palampur sub-division.

Over a dozen roads in Bharmour and Tissa area remained closed due to landslides in Chamba district. A flashflood caused damaged to public property, including footbridges and drinking-water supply schemes in the Chuwari area.

Landslides triggered by heavy rain blocked Chopal-Nerwa road near Chamdhar and Nihari while traffic was partially affected on the Tutikandi bypass in Shimla town. The Shimla-Kaurik highway was also shut for traffic due to flooding at Spillo.

Heavy rain also caused extensive damage to the maize crop in the district.

Schools to remain shut for 3 days in Kangra

All schools in Kangra district will remain closed for three days in view of the heavy rainfall which is expected to continue for next few days. The office of higher education deputy director issued a circular in this regard on Tuesday.

“There has been heavy precipitation in the district, which is likely to continue for few days. In order to avoid any untoward incident, all the schools will remain closed till August 10,” said deputy commissioner Kangra Sandeep Kumar.

Many village roads have been blocked due to landslides and flashfloods across the district. It was becoming difficult for village children to attend schools due to continuous rain. In last 24 hours, Dharamshala received the highest rainfall of 116.2 mm, followed by Kangra town with 79.9 mm, Palampur with 55 mm and Mandi with 41mm. Meteorological Centre, Shimla, has predicted heavy and moderate rains in parts of the state for next 24 hours.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 10:55 IST