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Tehri dam: Power generation from March

December 19, 2005 15:05 IST
After 17 years and Rs 7,300 crore (Rs 73 billion) of investment, the countdown has finally begun for power generation in Tehri Dam and Hydro Power Plant,  India's largest and yet one of the most controversial hydroelectric projects.

The water level at the reservoir is expected to touch the magical 720-metre mark, crucial to start power generation in March 2006.

"We are giving final touches to our preparation for the test power generation in March next. The water level in the dam has already touched 702 m height. As soon as it gets to the 720 m mark, we will turn keys for test generation," S K Shukla, general manager, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd (Project) told PTI.

On Sunday, the lower reach of old Tehri town, which houses a college, a market and residential areas, was submerged and water level was estimated to be rising by 40 cm per day.

While green activists have been opposing the project citing environmental concerns, rights activists want the displaced people to be properly compensated.

THDC general manager (Civil) A L Shah said construction of the dam, diversion tunnels, under ground galleries, chute spillways, left and right shaft spillways and flooring of stilling basin was completed.

He said while electro-mechanical work, which included four transformers in Machine and transformer hall and 357 main dam instruments in the dam body, were installed, the pre-commissioning works were in advance stage for 1,000 mw power generation.

The test generation would be continued till water level touches 760 m mark. "We will continue to conduct test generation for three months after March. Commercial generation would only be possible when the water crosses 760 m mark," the THDC General manager said.

Shukla said the transmission line works from inter face building (outside Power House) for power evacuation, for which Power Grid Corporation was responsible, was almost complete.

"We are now working on every detail of the project like connectivity to local habitation and smooth discharge of water flow of the River Bhagirath downstream. Any missing link could delay the matter again," he said.

The THDC project manager said by October, 2005 the expenditure on the Tehri Dam and HPP (Stage-1) was estimated to the tune of Rs 7,288.99 crore (Rs 72.88 billion) and it was expected to touch Rs 7,500 crore (Rs 75 billion) by the time commercial generation takes place.

By December end, the last leg of construction, joining of the river with the tunnels, would mark the completion of Phase-1 of the project, he said.

THDC is presently executing the Tehri Hydro Power Complex which would produce 2,400 mw power annually, the highest generation capacity from a single location in India.

The power complex includes Tehri Dam and Hydro Power Plant (1,000 MW), Tehri Pumped Storage Plant (1,000 MW) and Koteshwar Hydro Electri Puic Project (400 mw). Earlier the project was scheduled for commissioning for generation of 1,000 MW Power by June and July 2005.

Aiming to generate cheap power and facilitate irrigation to fields of undivided Uttar Pradesh, a power complex was envisaged by diverting Bhagirathi River though diversion tunnels near Tehri town of undivided Uttar Pradesh. THDC was incorporated in 1988 to execute the project.

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