No respite from rains in Himachal; power generation hit

Shimla: Two persons were killed and normal life was disrupted in parts of Himachal Pradesh today as heavy rains triggered landslides at many places disrupting vehicular traffic and shutting down major hydro-power projects due to rising silt levels.

One person was buried under debris in village Kuhed in Chamba district and a woman Satya Devi died due to lightning in village Neelan in Bilaspur while dozens of houses and cowsheds were damaged in rains.

About a dozen windmills and foot-bridges were also washed away in the interiors of Chamba and Kangra districts, officials said.

The country’s largest Nathpa-Jhakri hydropower (1500 MW), Karchham-Wangtoo (1000 MW) Baspa (300 MW) and Chamera -I and Chamera-II (600 Mw) were shut down since yesterday due to alarming rise in silt level.

The silt level rose to 57,000 particle per million at Khab while it was 13,000 ppm at Nathpa dam against permissible level of 4,000 ppm.

The situation was worse in Karchham-Wangtoo and Baspa projects and all the units of these plants generating about 3,400 MW power have been closed to avoid damage to heavy machinery.

In case power generation was not resumed by tomorrow, the region would face acute power shortage, sources said.

Continuous heavy rain in the last 60 hours wreaked havoc in lower hills of Kangra damaging houses, roads, bridges, water supply schemes, school buildings and affecting power supply.

Vehicular traffic was suspended on several routes, including Palampur-Dheera, Palampur-Khundian and Alampur-Thural routes even as bus services remained suspended for the third day on Palampur-Barot and Kothi Kohar bus road.

Life was thrown out of gear in Kangra Valley following incessant rains for the third consecutive day with massive landslides blocking roads at many places. Air traffic also remained disrupted.

The state capital Shimla remained engulfed in thick fog and received intermittent rains till this afternoon.

(PTI)

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