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Himachal power plant still paralysed

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | June 28, 2005 10:18 IST

Though water levels of Sutlej river have receded considerably, bringing respite to the people living in Kinnaur and Rampur districts of Himachal Pradesh, the conditions are not conducive for starting of power generation in the Nathpa Jakhari power project in Rampur.

Himachal power minister Vidya Stokes told on Tuesday that silt levels in the river were too high to think of restarting the power generation at the moment.

"According to reports from officials of the power plant this morning the silt level continues to be very high. So there would be no power generation in the morning hours. We will take stock of the situation later in the evening and decide," she said.

Chief minister Virdbhara Singh, who was in Delhi to attend the National Development Council meeting, rushed back to the state to take stock of the situation and supervise relief work.

Unofficial estimates say the state incurred losses of Rs 600 crores, but no loss of life has been reported so far. Efforts are being made to airlift tourists trapped in Kinnaur and Rampur to Shimla.

A high-level central team will visit the state soon to access the damage and report to the Union government after which an aid package will be announced for the state.

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