Himachal’s hydropower plant remains shut, power supply hit

Shimla, Aug 8 (IANS) The country’s largest hydropower plant in Himachal Pradesh remained shut for the fourth day Sunday, disrupting power supply to northern states, including Delhi.

The 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydropower project in Kinnaur district was closed Thursday as the silt level suddenly rose more than the permissible limit of 4,000 ppm (parts per million) due to heavy rains. The closure affected supply to states like Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, among others.

The power generation was stopped as silt content in the Sutlej river crossed 36,000 ppm, Vijay Verma, deputy general manager of the Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL), the company that runs the project, told IANS.

He said the silt level was still around 30,000 ppm and at this stage the generation couldn’t be resumed as high silt content could damage the turbines.

This is the fourth closure of the plant in this fiscal. Earlier, the plant was closed for five days from July 26 due to rise in silt level.

The closure of power generation has caused a daily loss of Rs.9 crore.

The SJVNL, a joint venture between the central government and the Himachal government, daily generates about 38 million units, which are supplied to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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