Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project once again faces nature's fury at Gerukamukh
Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHP) has to consecutively face nature’s fury during the current days including the past week and the running week.
Landslide turns fifth diversion tunnel non-functional
LAKHIMPUR: Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHP) has to consecutively face nature's fury during the current days including the past week and the running week. Being constructed by NHPC at Gerukamukh, located in the Assam-Arunachal border area in Dhemaji district, a massive landslide turned the fifth diversion tunnel of the mega-dam project non-functional on Monday. As a result, the affected diversion tunnel cannot divert the surge of water in the catchment area of the project.
It is notable here that due to heavy downpours in the past few days in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the water level of Subansiri river started to overflow in the catchment area of the SLHP. It resulted in excess water in the catchment area of the project rolling over the main dam since August 26 till day creating massive flood in the downstream area of the river. The rapid surge of overflown water also reportedly collapsed the guard wall which was constructed to protect the main dam of the project. Moreover, big trees being washed away by the river turned one of the eight main diversion tunnels of the project completely non-functional on August 26. Notably, two guard walls of the project were collapsed in the month of May of the last year too.
Thus the consecutive natural disasters affecting the mega river dam project have justified the apprehensions regarding the future catastrophe to be caused by the big dam project in the downstream areas of Subansiri river covering four districts of North Assam, viz— Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Majuli and Biswanth districts.
Recently, the Subansiri had overflown and submerged the powerhouse of the SLHP by breaking through the guard walls. In addition to that, the heavy rainfall has caused landslide at Tunnel Road which is still on. Under such circumstances, the protesters who have opposed the commissioning of the project, have once again alleged that the dam would not be able to resist earthquakes in a zone that is highly prone to seismic activity. Leaders at the vanguard of the agitation have still cited numerous instances of flooding in Assam whenever water was released from the Ranganadi Hydro Electric Plant located at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh, operated by NEEPCO and Kurishu in Bhutan.