Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 9
There was an alarming rise in the water level of the Sutlej river and its tributaries on Friday due to flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in Kinnaur district.
The cloudburst occurred at three places—Kannam, Morang and Tangling Nullah—washing away the Poorvani-Tangling bridge and another bridge on Ribba Nullah. The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway (No 5) has been blocked at two places and the area also witnessed landslides. Some orchards were also damaged in Kannam area.
The developments forced the shut-down of hydropower projects—the 1500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri, 1,000 MW Karchham- Wangtoo, 412 MW Rampur and 300 MW Baspa hydel projects —due to the sudden increase in the silt level. The gates of the dams were also opened.
The silt level at Khab at confluence of Sutlej and Spiti was 8305 and 1270 ppm (particles per million) while the silt level increased to 16,000 ppm at Nathpa Dam.
The power generation has now resumed at Nathpa while other projects would resume generation after the ppm was below 5,000, project sources said.
The people living along the banks of Sutlej and other rivulets have been alerted and advised not to go near the river where the water level is expected to rise further.
Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur Rakesh Sharma said no loss of life had been reported and the Highway would be restored in the next seven to eight hours.
The flood water also entered some houses that have now been vacated according to Sharma.
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