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Assam: TEC on review of NHPC dam submits report

January 21, 2013 21:07 IST

A Technical Experts Committee comprising Dr C D Thatte, ex-chairman, Central Water Commission and Dr MS Reddy, ex-chairman, CWC set up by the Planning Commission for comprehensive review of Subansiri Lower Project submitted its report to Planning Commission.

The TEC was constituted in the wake of strong opposition from various non-governmental; organisations in Assam to construction of the 2,000 MW hydro-electric project fearing catastrophic downstream impact of the mega dam. The projected is located along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary.

The NHPC authority on Monday informed about following major recommendations of the Committee on Dam design, operational aspects, flood and environmental aspects and allocation of power:

On Dam design and safety aspects, TEC has recommended for an independent Dam Design Review Panel and the same has been set up in early December, 2012 under the chairmanship of Chairman, CWC to review the design features of the Dam. Panel has been given a time frame of three months and recommendations of the panel will be followed by the NHPC.

Also, as recommended by TEC, NHPC agrees for a Dam Safety Review Panel, with external experts, to be constituted for post construction inspection of the Dam. TEC has also recommended for urgent completion of study of dam break analysis and its clearance by CWC and NHPC agrees for the same.

On operational aspects, TEC has recommended for reservoir management by an independent authority with flood control as primarily objective. Accordingly, the Reservoir Regulation Committee under the chairmanship of Member of CWC will be set up for operation of the reservoir so as to ensure optimum flood moderation benefits.

Also, as recommended by the TEC, NHPC agrees to run one unit continuously to ensure minimum downstream flow of 250 cumecs and CEA has also consented for the same.

The TEC has recommended that incremental cost of non-structural flood proofing measures by government of Assam, due to Dam Break Analysis, shall be contributed by SLP, SMP & SUP. NHPC agrees to bear incremental cost of non-structural flood proofing measures due to dam break analysis of SLP. 

About allocation of power, the government is actively considering the proposal supported by NHPC and also recommended by TEC to allocate 300 MW unallocated paid power to Assam.

This would be in addition to 233 MW already allocated to Assam thus making total power available from SLP as 533 MW. The TEC has also recommended that there should be a mechanism to ensure that NHPC discharges its CSR in equal measures in both upstream and downstream area of SLP.

NHPC agrees with the recommendation and is already actively taking up the works related to improvement in education and health sectors, strengthening of infrastructure in downstream areas, promotion of sports, arts & cultures and commits to take up extensive CSR activities in these areas in future also.

With these measures recommended by TEC, safety of the Dam, flood protection in downstream areas and mitigation of environmental impact would be ensured. NHPC reiterates its commitment to implement these measures and is looking forward for early completion of the project.

Being a leading public sector organization of the nation, NHPC is sensitive to people, strongly believes in participative approach with positive attitude, endeavors to take along all walks of society for its performance and is always willing to make pioneering efforts for benefit of society at large.

K Anurag in Guwahati