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Sainj residents blame NHPC for disaster

Say water released from dam washed away 30 houses, 40 shops

Sainj residents blame NHPC for disaster

Houses damaged near riverbanks at Sainj in Kullu. Photo: Jai Kumar



Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, August 1

Residents of Sainj in Banjar subdivision of Kullu district have blamed the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) authorities for the July 10 rain disaster when 30 houses and 40 shops were washed away in flashfloods.

They alleged the NHPC authorities released water from the Parbati-3 dam without a prior warning, resulting in damage to residential and commercial buildings downstream. The NHPC authorities, however, denied any lapse in the release of dam water.

Govind Thakur of Sainj said, “Residential and commercial buildings at Sainj suffered massive damage after the NHPC released water from the dam suddenly. They did not sound the alarm before releasing water.”

Neena Devi, another Sainj resident, said, “We suffered losses due to the negligence of the NHPC that released water from the dam without a prior warning. The NHPC should come forward to rehabilitate the affected families.”

Prakash Chand, General Manager of the NHPC Parbati-3 Project at Sainj, however, refuted the allegations of Sainj residents. He said, “Due to heavy rainfall in the region, the water level in the dam had increased considerably on July 8. We opened the floodgates on July 8 after sounding the alarm. The release of water continued on July 8 and July 9. The water level in the dam increased drastically after 11 pm on July 9. As a result, we kept the floodgates open till July 10. The dam has a limited storage capacity and we released water as per the SOPs in the dam manual.”

Kullu Deputy Commissioner Ashutosh Garg said an inquiry had been initiated in the matter to ascertain the facts.

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