NHPC’s Kishanganga reports seepage in HRT

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Srinagar: A month ahead of its formal commissioning, NHPC’s Kishangnaga is facing a serious problem. Its headrace tunnel is exhibiting a leak and a survey is on to trace the exact status of the seepage.

Begining of the project: Pic: Bilal Bahadur

“Yes, there is a leak,” a senior official privy to the developments said. “The input was 65 cusecs of water and the output was only 64.5 or slightly less than that.”

The officer said that the Hydraulics engineers and the Geology and Mining experts have been driven to inspect the tunnel and it will take a bit of time to trace and teat the leak. “The water has been stopped in the headrace tunnel immediately,” he said.

The 330 MW Kishanganga project is located at the centre of the Gurez valley with a 37 meters high concrete faced rockfill dam and an underground powerhouse. It is expected to generate 1350 million units of power in a 90 percent dependable year.

The project diverted part of the Kishanganga waters to the dam that feeds underground power stations in Bandipore. The discharge goes into a local rivulet and finally adds to the Jhelum discharge. NHPC calculations suggest that increased discharge would add more than 312 million unit’s energy capacity to the downstream twin projects at Uri, both owned by NHPC.

The project cost the NHPC Rs 3642.04 crore on 2007 price level which includes Rs 469 crores.

The head race tunnel is the tunnel that drains water from the dam located in Gurez to the powerhouse that has been set up in Bandipore foothills. It is a 5.4-meter diameter 8.5 km long Horse Shoe shaped tunnel followed by 5.2m diameter 14.75 km long, Circular shaped Head Race Tunnel (HRT).

“All the basic testing was already done,” the officer said. “Synchronisation is also over but the leak needs to be located and treated.” He said the project will get into a commercial generation later next month.

It was a local population that detected the leak in certain areas where water started seeping out of the mountains.

The district administration has asked people to avoid panicking as the work on locating the seepage has started and no water is flowing into the tunnel from the dam.

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