Ranganadi project saved Assam from more floods: NEEPCO

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Guwahati, Jul 3 (UNI) The spat between Assam government and NEEPCO over flash floods in North Lakhimpur district caused by excess water released from NEEPCO's Ranganadi hydel power project in Arunachal Pradesh refused to subside with the power giant today claiming that its project had in fact saved Assam from a greater crisis.

''North Lakhimpur district was saved from a more devastating flood due to water diversion for the power project,'' NEEPCO manager (PR), Shillong, Loreta Ann Kharmawphlang said.

As many as eight persons had died and thousands affected in the flash floods of June 13 and 14, with the road communication, that was snapped by the flood, still to be restored through the main route.

The Assam government has sent an enquiry team to probe into the excess release of water by the NEEPCO, with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stating that the government would press for compensation.

The NEEPCO general manager had, however, maintained that the company was not to be blamed for the flood and asserted that no compensation would be paid.

The Manager (PR) informed in a release that due to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the Ranganadi on the evening of June 13, the inflow of water increased to approximately 428 Cumec at 0245 hours on June 14 and to approximately 2,120 Cumec at 0510 hours.

''The huge inflow (flash flood) could not be stored in the small reservoir (5.7 M Cum capacity), and, therefore, was allowed to pass downstream through the spillway meant for this purpose and also for the safety of small dam,'' she said.

Water from the project after generation is released into the Dikrong river and only the excess water is allowed to pass through the main Ranganadi river.

The NEEPCO claimed that the flood in the main river (Ranganadi) could have even been more severe if the project was closed and all the water was allowed to pass through the main river.

''Due to diversion of the water into Dikrong on account of generation from the project to that extent the severity of the flood was reduced in the main river,'' Ms Kharmawphlang said.

The Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project 405 MW (3X135 MW), developed by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) on Ranganadi river in Arunachal Pradesh, is a run-of-river scheme with a very small pondage.

A maximum discharge of only 160 Cumec of water can be utilised for generation of power which is eventually diverted from Ranganadi river to the Dikrong through tailrace channel.

UNI SG DPM KLC1533

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