M A I N   N E W S

4 months after Larji tragedy, state wakes up to waRning system
Soon, get SMS alert near HP hydel projects
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 13
Locals and tourists in the vicinity of a hydropower project in Himachal will get a text message on their mobile phones warning them to keep away from the river following discharge of water from the project.

The decision has been taken to prevent the recurrence of the accident at Thalout in Mandi which claimed 25 lives.

A meeting chaired by Himachal Chief Secretary P Mitra and attended by officials of the Energy Department and state electricity board took the decision today.

The expenditure to be incurred on warning measures, including hooters and signboards, will be borne by the independent power producer, be it the government or private producers.

Sources said the Director (Energy) would put in place warning measures within three months. "The Directorate Energy will decide the number of hooters and warning boards to be installed at vulnerable points along the river where huge volume of water has to be discharged," said an official.

The High Court had directed the state government to devise a mechanism to prevent reoccurrence of the June 8 incident at Thalout in Mandi district in which 24 engineering students from Hyderabad and their tour guide were washed away in the Beas. The incident took place when water was released from the 126 MW Larji Hydropower Project.

Hooters and signboards have been installed along the Beas near the Larji project, but the warning system is missing in other power projects across the state.

Officials said the text messages would be flashed the moment a tourist or a local resident come into the mobile tower range near power project. "In most places, the mobile service operators share towers and flashing such warning messages in Hindi and English will be helpful," said an official.

Safety net

  • Warning system to be put in place within three months. Power producers to bear the cost
  • Text messages will be flashed the moment a person comes into the mobile tower range near a power project






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