Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Uttarakhand floods: Jaiprakash Power resumes ops at Vishnuprayag HEP in Chamoli

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  • The Uttarakhand flash flood had led to the closure of Jaiprakash Power’s 400 MW Vishnuprayag project due to river water gushing into the Tail Race Tunnel of the project

  • The other hydro-electric projects that were affected by the flood included NTPC Limited’s 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower project and Pipal Koti (4×111 MW) project

New Delhi: Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd has resumed operations at its 400 MW Vishnuprayag Hydro-Electric Project in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand over a month after the project was shut down in the wake of the flash floods that erupted in the state early in February. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges on Friday, the company said, “The Company is pleased to announce that after carrying out extensive cleaning of the Tail Race Tunnel of the Project and other associated systems and thorough checking of all elements of the Project, we have resumed operations at 400 MW Vishnuprayag HEP on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri on 11th March, 2021 at 3:00 PM.”

Uttarakhand flash flood affected three hydro-electric projects

The flash flood that hit Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district had led to the closure of Jaiprakash Power’s 400 MW Vishnuprayag Hydro Electric Project due to river water gushing into the Tail Race Tunnel of the project. The other hydro-electric projects that were affected by the flood included NTPC Limited’s 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower project and Pipal Koti (4×111 MW) project. Both the projects owned by NTPC were under construction.

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On February 8, the flash flood erupted when a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district and damaged the Rishiganga dam on Alaknanda river.

The backdrop

Out of India’s total installed power-generation capacity of 373.43 GW, hydro-power accounts for around 12.23 percent. Hydropower has long elicited controversy because of the risks and the environmental damage associated with it, especially in earthquake-prone, fragile mountainous terrains. Earlier in June 2013, heavy rain coupled with flash floods in several areas in Uttarakhand had killed over 5,000 people and caused major damages to villages, livestock and dams. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had argued that several mountainous areas such as Uttarakhand should be left untouched because dams and river water diversions had caused significant damage to the river length and destroyed the original content and quality of the river downstream.

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