Work begins on the Teesta Hydroelectric Project
Darjeeling, Mar 18: Patel Engineering, a civil-infrastructure construction company, has commenced work on the Rs 240 crore, 132 Mega Watt (MW) Teesta Low Dam Hydroelectric Project (Stage III).
Briefing the visiting reporters from Mumbai early this week, the company's director Nimish Patel said the project, located on river Teesta in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, envisages construction of a 33 meter high and 140 meters long reinforced barrage across the river and 132 MW hydroelectric power station along with ancillary structures.
For fish to swim along the river flow, he continued, special arrangement called ''Fish Ladder'' is made within the Barrage.
presently, Patel Engineering is involved in executing projects that will generate another 3,000 MW.
The companys' Managing Director Rupen Patel said, ''Hydro power projects are today competing aggressively with nuclear and thermal power projects. But what clinches the issue is that hydro- power is the cleanest and cheapest.'' Teesta is among the nine hydroelectric projects that the company is presently constructing, Mr Patel added. It has been involved in constructing projects to generate more than 7,000 MW of Hydro Power.
Teesta River provides working season from October to May only. For construction of the barrage in the dry, it is necessary to divert the river flow from the work areas. On the other projects river water is normally diverted by making a diversion tunnel, but here the hill topography is such that making a tunnel is not possible.
Therefore the river water has to be diverted within its bed itself, in phases.
The diversion has to be achieved before the monsoon flood picks up every year, which is a challenging task for construction engineers, requiring a great deal of expertise and experience.
In addition, the river gets frequent flash floods even during non monsoon period and this creates another challenge to the construction engineers who have to be prepared for such exigencies.
The entire civil works are carried out by Patel Engineering Limited of Mumbai under a contract with National Hydro Electric Power Corporation, a Government of India Undertaking.
After an initial delay in start, due to non availability of forest clearances from the Government authorities, the project has picked up speed and is aimed at completing by 2008.
The other eight projects being executed by Patel Engineering are Parbati Hydroelectric project of 800 MW whose contract is valued at Rs 323 crore, followed by Sewa Hydroelectric project of 120 MW for Rs 100 crore, Koyna Hydroelectric project 1,000 MW at Rs 211 crore, Ghatghar Hydroelectric project 250 MW at Rs 263 crore, Turial Hydroelectric project of 60 MW for Rs 288 crore, Kameng Hydroelectric project of 600 MW at Rs 392 crore, Serlui Hydroelectric project of 12 MW at Rs 61 crore and Priyadarshini Jurala Hydroelectric Project of 234 MW at Rs 30 crore.