Sunday, August 24, 2008

A damned dam ... 24Aug2008

Two NHPC (National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) Low - dams have come under media scrutiny recently (see extract of 17Aug2008 Telegraph below):-
I have placed 4 captioned photos from my visits to the NHPC Stage III, lo -dam at 27th mile area after the media reports -

Morcha (Political Party) strikes at low dam sites for road

Darjeeling, Aug. 17: The Rs 2,000 crore Teesta low dam scheme of the NHPC has once again run into rough weather with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha calling an indefinite strike at the project sites from tomorrow.

The Morcha is demanding the immediate construction of an alternative route along a stretch of the Takdha-Teesta road that has allegedly been damaged by the ongoing project.

Narbuji Lama, the president of the Morcha’s Teesta-Takdha Valley Committee, today said: “We have taken permission from party president Bimal Gurung for the strike. The NHPC had promised us that the road would be built but work has not yet started.”

“Earlier, we did not have frequent landslides but ever since the construction started a few years ago, this has been a recurring problem. Even this morning about 30-40 vehicles were stranded for five to six hours because a jeep broke down on that potholed stretch,” said Lama. He added that the road was the lifeline to the 80,000 residents of the Takdah valley.

The Takdha-Teesta road connects the valley to NH31A and most people prefer to go to Siliguri rather than Darjeeling for their daily chores as the plains town is closer.

The Morcha wants the alternative route to bypass the landslide-prone area and connect Deorali Gaon to Rambi Bazaar.

S. Khatua, the chief engineer of Teesta Low Dam Project-III, has condemned the “culture of bandh”.

“I have not yet heard about the strike but it is time everyone realised that shutdowns are never solutions to any problem. The culture of bandh does not help anyone,” said Khatua.

In June, too, the Morcha had called for an indefinite strike at the project sites. The strike had lasted for three-four days.

The TLD-III is a Rs 768.92 crore project (according to a December 2002 pricing) while Stage IV entails a cost of Rs 1061.38 crore. Both the projects are coming up in the Rambi-Kalijhora area, about 20km downstream of Teesta Baazar in Kalimpong sub-division.

The two projects combined is one of the biggest in the region as TLD-III is expected to have a capacity of 132 MW while TLD-IV is expected to produce 160 MW.

“The TLDP-III was set to be completed in September 2009 but this has been extended to December because of the recent spate of strikes. The TLDP-IV is likely to be completed in December 2010,” said Khatua.

Even though the 2002 pricing of TLDP-III was pegged at around 700 crore, sources said it has already touched the 1,000 crore mark.

Khatua, however, said the the company was willing to finance the construction of an alternative route. “The land belongs to the forest department and we have already approached the authorities for transfer of land. The process does take long and a road cannot be built overnight,” he said.

The NHPC wants the Morcha leaders to help them expedite the transfer of land. “If the leaders can play a part in expediting the transfer of land, instead of calling a strike, it would be more useful,” Khatua said.

Lama, however, said the onus of transferring the land was on the NHPC. “If they could acquire such a big area for the project, they can easily do so for the road,” said Lama.



Comment by praful rao
This year we have been fortunate thus far...
except for Jun08 when we had heavy rain , the monsoons have been kind to us...
so on 24Aug2008 when I visited the NHPC dam stage III, I was happy..many of the areas seemed to be holding on, as if to disprove my gloomy predictions!!!
All, except for the horrible portion directly above the power house area...
which is going, going gone...

mark my words!
and hence the title of this blog ( A damned...)

1 comment:

kushal kumar said...

The news report appeared in Darjeeling Times on 13 August 2016 saying that a massive landslide in Dzongu , North Sikkim has triggered fears of floods downstream. It has also been added that entire hillock called “ So Bhir” adjacent to Kanaka river has come crashing down, blocking the Kanaka river. There is no reason to be panicky at present but some remedial measures are called for because the accumulated water on blocked of the river has a potential of causing huge damage in the area. In this connection , readers may like to know , if they are already not aware , about the alert prediction of this Vedic astrology writer in hitherto well known article “ 2016 -a woeful year for India with slight cheer at the end” published as early as on 18 January 2016 in online magazine An alert was predicted for Gangtok- Sikkim likely to happen during Summer to August 2016 through massive landslide having likelihood of grave concern. The alert also included some power dam or water dam. The intent of this alert was to enable the concerned to be in readiness much before to counter or size up to such a likely contingency. On June 28 and after in 2016 also , this writer had alerted that period from 9 August to 20 September 2016 could cause substantial concern in the country in Himalayan belt in north of India. There is no reason to be panicky however. It seems the alert was meaningfully useful.