Chutak Power Plant Submerges in Water, Kargil in Darkness



Kargil district of Ladakh Division of Jammu and Kashmir has been reeling under darkness after the Chutak Hydroelectric Plant mysteriously submerged in water. Reports said that water has entered into the whole power station and all the turbines have stopped functioning from Sunday night.

“There is no electricity in Kargil district as the three storey Chutak power house has submerged in water. Nobody knows how it happened and why the employees didn’t inform the higher up before hand,” Asghar Ali Karbalai, the local legislator told CNS.

Eyewitnesses said police and civil administration rushed to spot after gushing water started entering into the power house. Fire tenders were put in service but they reportedly failed to dewater the power station. The locals informed Chief Engineer NHPC who took stock of the situation. “We have opened up the gate of the barrage of the project that is located at Sarze village. This will ease pressure and flow of the water,” he said.

An NHPC official said that they have started investigating the matter. “It will be premature to say anything in advance. Either it is negligence on part of employees or simply the breech has taken place itself,” he said.

Reports said that administration has pressed number of fire tenders into service. “Efforts are on to dewater the power house but it will take time,” Hill Council Chief Executive Haji Muhammad Hanifa said. “First there will be dewatering of the power house and only then we can take stock of the losses suffered due to submergence,” he said.

Locals alleged that breech takes place every year as the material used in the power station is sub-standard. “Last year in 2014 October, power house had submerged into water as a result, Kargil had reeled under darkness for two weeks. Same happened this time and we all know, it will take some 15 days for authorities to restore the electricity,” said a group of locals from Baroo Kargil area.

Pertinently The Chutak Hydroelectric Plant is a run-of-the-river power project on the Suru River (a tributary of Indus) in Kargil district. The project construction began on September 23, 2006, and the first three generators were commissioned in November 2012. The fourth was commissioned in January 2013. The project is being developed by M/s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd. The generating equipment is being supplied, erected and commissioned by M/s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. The generator/turbine was manufactured by BHEL’s Bhopal unit whereas the controls were supplied by BHEL’s Bangalore unit.

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