Engineers took years to rebuild 1,200 Kv Jummagad hydel project in 2008 at a dizzying height of 6,200 metres in the hilly Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. But it took just seconds for the landslides to damage the power channel of the project in October last year..
And Jummagad is not alone. The Uttarkhand government has said a total of eight small hydel projects have been closed mostly due to landslides in the highly fragile zones of the hill state.
By successfully connecting the Jummagad project with the grid, the state-run Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited had completed an uphill task, given the tough topography of the Chamoli region. Engineers and workers had walked miles to reach the project site since there was no road. The construction of the Jummagad project, which had been built for Rs 6.12 crore, was started in 1991. In the year 1999, the devastating Chamoli earthquake created cracks in the power channel. And again in 2002, an avalanche hit the area creating damage to the plant site. And now, the UJVNL is wondering what will be the next step.
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