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Power crisis in north as Himachal hydropower project shuts

Shimla, June 24 (IANS) Power supply to states of north India including Delhi was affected as the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydel power project in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district was temporarily shut down by the authorities Thursday after the level of silt rose in the Sutlej river.

‘The silt content in the river suddenly rose more than the permissible limit of 7,500 ppm (parts per million). We have no other option but to suspend power generation,’ Vijay Verma, deputy general manager of the Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL), told IANS.

He said the sudden inflow of the silt was due to heavy rainfall in the catchment of the river on which the project is based.

‘We are constantly monitoring the silt level. The project is likely to resume generation after midnight (Friday),’ he said.

This was the first time the plant had to be shut down this season.

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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