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Saal hydropower project in Chamba damaged in landslide

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla 

A massive landslide in the wee hours today damaged the Saal hydropower project of Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) in Chamba, an official said.

The landslide caused the entire hill to 'break' away, leading to more than 80 per cent damage as the four-way, penstock, powerhouse and control room were completely buried under tonnes of debris, Managing Director, P C Negi said.

The slip occurred around 4 AM in the morning and within minutes the entire complex was buried under debris, Negi said adding, it was triggered by the heavy rains during the last one week.

Work to remove the debris is in progress and an exact loss to machinery, equipment and other assets would be known only after making a detailed assessment, Negi said.

However, there was no loss of life as the skeleton staff managed to come out of the complex in time.

The 2 MW project, located in the main town, about 450 km from here, was inaugurated in March 2000 by the then Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. It was later renamed after former Chairman of the Board Padmashree Kailash Chand Mahajan when the Congress came to power in 2004.

Mahajan, who had retired as chief engineer from Punjab was conferred Padmashree in recognition of his contribution during the 1971 Indo-Pak War while serving as superintending engineer in Punjab.

First Published: Tue, March 10 2015. 17:02 IST