Kullu, November 18
A major incident of water leakage from the drainage gallery of the powerhouse of the 800 MW Parbati-II Hydroelectric Project (PHEP-II) of the NHPC at Siund in the Sainj valley of the district was reported yesterday.
There was chaos and panic among the project staff and local people due to the huge amount of water discharged from the powerhouse. However, the project management denied there was any danger to the powerhouse or the lives of local villagers, as such technical snags were normal during operations.
Powerhouse General Manager Ranjeet Singh said that there had been leakage in the manhole gasket of the bottom ADIT leading to the inspection windows and drainage galleries of the penstock. He added that the area was being de-watered and it would take about two days to assess the fault.
He said that the fault was being identified and rectified. Meanwhile, due to the technical fault, power generation has come to a standstill. Employees and engineers at the powerhouse are busy finding the technical fault. The PHEP-II was already delayed by over 15 years and it had faced many problems for the past 23 years of its construction.
Initially, the project was to be completed by 2009 but due to various issues, the deadline had now been revised to September 2024. Several landslides had occurred during the construction of the powerhouse due to the cutting of hills.
Due to huge water leakage, the residents of Khadoa, Jeeva and Bhaiwal villages located near the powerhouse are living in fear. An incident of huge water leakage from hills at Bhaiwal village, situated at a distance of about 200 metres from the powerhouse, was also reported last year. Many houses were damaged due to the cracking of the hills behind the village. Houses in Jeeva village were evacuated several times due to the emergence of cracks in the hills during the construction of the powerhouse.
Local villagers Rajesh, Devesh Sharma and Nirmal Mishra said that the leakage of huge amount of water near the powerhouse posed a threat to their village. They had urged the NHPC and the local administration many times to take measures to ensure their safety in view of the proximity of their village to the powerhouse, but to no avail.
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