Power generation at Nathpa Jhakri hit due to silt

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Shimla, Jun 12: Power generation in the country's largest hydel power project in the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri has been stopped due to high silt content in the Satluj River, company's general manager A K Bansal today said.

''The silt content in the river had crossed the 5,000 PPM (parts per million), which forced the shutting down of power generation in the plant at about 1430 hrs yesterday,'' he told UNI here.

Mr Bansal said the cause of the sudden rise in the silt content was not known, but it appeared that melting of snow in the higher reaches had increased as the water flow in the feeding river touched 1,100 cumecs.

''We were otherwise getting a flow of 700 to 800 cumecs in the last few days, which has increased in the past two days and with it the silt level too has increased,'' he said.

He also denied any information about any flash floods and said that there was no warning of any such floods from any of the warning stations, set up in the catchment areas.

The turbines in the Nathpa Jhakri plant are designed to withstand corrosion for silt levels up to 5,000 PPM and once the level crosses this mark, the machines are turned off to save any damage to the plant.

Mr Bansal was not sure when the power generation would resume.

''It is a wait and watch situation and only when the silt level falls will it be possible to re-start generation.'' The Nathpa Jhakri, a 25: 75 per cent joint venture between the state and the centre, has remained closed for varying periods since it began its operations since 2003 due to high silt levels in the river.


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