3 swept away in Kinnaur power project mishap

SHIMLA: Three persons— two security guards and a local— were swept away by the swift-flowing muck while five others were injured after the penstock of the 100 mw Sorang power project in Kinnaur burst.

editorial@tribune.com

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 19

Three persons— two security guards and a local— were swept away by the swift-flowing muck while five others were injured after the penstock of the 100 mw Sorang power project in Kinnaur burst.

As soon as the company released water to commission its 50 mw unit-II project last night, the muck washed away the guards, Pyare Lal and Pradeep Kumar, posted at the switch yard of the power house. The third person, Rajinder Negi, went missing as the debris damaged five houses at Barang village located downstream.

Officials said the penstock that carried water to the power house to run the turbine burst as soon as the private company released water. The project was damaged following a landslide a few years ago, said sources.

The four among the five injured have been identified as Khem Raj (42), a driver from Karsog, Deepak Rana (27), Bhoranj in Hamirpur, Ajay Kumar (27), Rupi, Kinnaur, Raju Ram (33), Pitharagarh, Uttarakhand. The injured were taken to the Rampur Civil Hospital, said Neelam Dulta, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Bhavnagar. “The fifth injured has not been identified,” she said.

Dulta said a rescue team comprising police personnel and officials of the local administration was trying to trace the missing persons.

The debris flowed into the Sutlej river, said the officials. Panchayat Pradhan, Rupi, BS Negi demanded compensation for the affected families.

Those residing along the steep hills are living under constant fear. He demanded their safety.

Dulta said the rescue team had distributed blankets, ration and relief material among the affected persons at the project site. “The damage to the houses and the project is being assessed but right now the priority is to trace the missing persons,” she said.

Senior manager, Sorang Private Power Project Limited, Anup Kumar said they had commissioned the first unit of the project and were commissioning the unit-II last night when the penstock burst. “They released water as the level in the Sorang rivulet is low these days. The exact cause is yet to be ascertained,” Kumar said.

TAQA company, an Abu Dhabhi firm, is a shareholder. “The state government has slapped a notice on the Nagarjuna Construction Company executing the project for selling more than 5 per cent of the share to TAQA,” said the officials.

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