GUWAHATI, Dec 8 � If the construction works for the remaining portion of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP) is resumed in January next year, the project will require time till March 2017 for completion, since the working season in a year is only six to seven months long.
This was the view of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Executive Director Rakesh. He was talking to this correspondent. NHPC is executing the LSHEP.
The project cost, which was initially estimated to be Rs 6285.33 crore at the 2002 price level, was revised to be Rs 10667.09 crore at the price level of 2010.
The cost of the project is feared to shoot up further due to escalation in the prices of the construction materials and other items required in the project as well as the idling claim of the contractors. The NHPC is now paying an idling claim of almost Rs 18 crore every month. The construction of the project has remained stopped since December 16, 2011, Rakesh said.
He informed that 55 per cent of the project has been completed so far. The diversion tunnel of the river is totally complete. The dam excavation is complete. Construction of the dam is 43 per cent complete. The power house feet excavation is totally complete and its concreting is 41 per cent complete.
Sixty per cent of the hydro-mechanical materials have been supplied and of them two per cent has been erected. Ninety five per cent of the electro-mechanical materials have been supplied and two per cent of them have been erected.
The Thatte-Reddy Committee which was engaged by the Planning Commission to go into the issues concerning the LSHEP following the report of the Assam experts, has submitted its report. The report is being examined by the Government of India, Rakesh said.
It is expected that the report would be made public before the tripartite talk being held among the Government of India, Assam Government and the agitators. For, he said, this is one of the demands of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), which is leading 26 organisations in support of the demand for remove the fears of the Assam people on the adverse downstream impacts of the LSHEP.
Significantly, the NHPC ED said, LSHEP is not a mega dam project. For, he said, only ten per cent of the total annual rainfall will be stored by the dam of the project and rest 90 per cent of the rainfall will run down the river unlike the flat rivers of the United States and Brazil.
The project has a continuous firm power of 600 MW. The 2000 MW is its peak load hour capacity. But during the monsoon, because of the lowering of the reservoir, its capacity will come down to around 1600 MW.
When his attention was drawn to the plight of the people living in the downstream areas of the Ranganadi Hydroelectric Project, Rakesh said that unlike the Ranganadi project, LSHEP will release the water to the Subansiri itself. Only a stretch of around 250 metres of the river channel will be diverted for the project and this portion of the river will remain a pool and part of the dam.
But in the case of the Ranganadi project the water of the Ranganadi has been released to the Dikrong and this has been keeping the downstream portion of the Ranganadi dry for most of the time and thus made it exposed to encroachment, Rakesh said.