NTPC Himachal hydro plant to be commissioned next year

February 27th, 2012 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Feb 27 (IANS) State-owned National Thermal Power Corp’s mega hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh is likely to be commissioned next year. The plant would generate 3,054 million units annually when it is fully operational, said a company official.

More than 80 percent of civil and electro mechanical works of the 800-MW Kol Dam project on the Satluj in the state’s Bilaspur district had been completed, NTPC spokesman Vishwanath Chandan said.

He told IANS that the reservoir filling would start in October this year and by the end of 2013, all four turbines of 200 MW each would start generating electricity.

The reservoir, spread over 40 sq km, falls in Shimla, Solan, Mandi and Bilaspur districts. It lies upstream of Punjab’s Bhakra Dam.

NTPC officials said the filling of the reservoir would take almost a year as it is spread over a huge area.

“Since it lies on the upstream of Bhakra, small portion of the river flow is diverted towards the reservoir. Otherwise, it could trigger water scarcity in Bhakra, which mainly serves the irrigation requirements of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan,” they said.

Chandan said the silt level of the Bhakra Dam would be drastically reduced with the commissioning of the Kol Dam project.

“Only the water stored in the (Kol) reservoir will be released. De-silted water will flow into Bhakra with the dam commissioning. It will enhance Bhakra’s life,” he said.

On environment and forests ministry’s objections to the transfer of 124.054 hectares of forest land from the Majathal Wildlife Sanctuary in Solan district to the Kol Dam project, Chandan said a joint survey was again conducted by the state forest department and project authorities.

“During the fresh survey, it was estimated that only 4,000 trees will be submerged (due to the construction of the reservoir). Earlier estimation of over 50,000 trees was not correct,” he said.

The company has re-submitted the survey to the union environment and forests ministry and is awaiting its approval.

NTPC says its maiden project in the state, once fully operational, would annually generate 3,054 million units.

The hill state is entitled to get a royalty of 12 percent free power from the project.

NTPC is also constructing hydro projects in Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

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