Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NHPC to reduce height of controversial Subansiri project

NHPC's Subansiri dam 
THE National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has agreed to explore the scope of reducing the height of the dam of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP), considering the hydroelectric and economic constraints. The power major will submit a report on the scope...
of reducing the dam height to the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Commission, together with the IIT Guwahati will jointly review the report.
These were some of the decisions arrived at by the experts belonging to the State, the NHPC and the CWC at a meeting convened by State’s Power Commissioner and Secretary Anurag Goel at the NEDFi House in Guwahati on June 2.
Other downstream-related issues of the project would be considered after resolving the issues linked with dam height and dam safety, said the sources in the expert group.
Experts argue that IIT Guwahati should undertake academic studies to investigate the practical viability of the downstream regulating pond in any hydroelectric project in general for minimising the diurnal variations. This type of pond was originally proposed by Prof Sarma and accepted by the international scientific community.
NHPC sources said the State’s experts were told by the NHPC that the dam of the project has already been re-designed and all the recommendations of the State’s experts were adopted. The technical queries of the State’s experts were also answered by the NHPC at the meeting.
On the issue of reducing the height of the project’s dam, the State’s experts were told that the height of the dam was worked out to meet the flood moderation requirement. If the dam height is reduced, it would affect the flood moderation capacity of the dam, Rakesh said.
NHPC was incorporated in 1975 with an objective to plan, promote and organise an integrated and efficient development of hydroelectric power in all aspects. Later on NHPC expanded its objects to include development of power in all its aspects through conventional and non-conventional sources in India and abroad.
At present, NHPC, a Miniratna PSU, has an authorised share capital of Rs. 1,50,000 Million . With an investment base of over Rs. 3,87,180 Million Approx. , NHPC is among the TOP TEN companies in the country in terms of investment.
Billed as the largest hydro-electric power project in the country, the project has been facing stiff opposition since inception as the locals and various NGOs are up in arms against the project apprehending an impending disaster from the dam. The project was to be completed by this year but even the half of the work is not done yet. Located 2.3 km upstream of Gerukamukh village in Lower Subansiri District on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the 2000MW run-of-the-river power project has experienced several problems during construction to include landslides, re-design and opposition. 

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