Rising silt keeps Himachal hydropower plants shut

 Three mega hydropower plants in Himachal Pradesh remained shut for the second day on Tuesday due to high silt level in rivers, triggering power shortage in northern states.

The country’s biggest hydropower plant, the 1,500-MW Nathpa Jhakri power project, and Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp Ltd’s 1,000-MW Karcham Wangtoo hydroelectric project, both located in Kinnaur, have been closed since Monday, project officials said.
The silt level in Satluj river, on which the Nathpa Jhakri power project is located, was more than the permissible limit, said V K Verma, deputy general manager, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. It operates the 1,500-MW Nathpa-Jhakri project.

He said the silt level rose due to heavy rain in catchment areas. Jaypee’s hydroelectric project located upstream of the Nathpa Jhakri project and NHPC’s 300-MW Chamera stage-II located on Ravi river in Chamba have been shut down.

The closure of the plants has led to a power crisis in the northern region.
The northern power grid came under strain as states procuring power from the projects were forced to overdraw from the grid.

The projects supply power mainly to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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