Central Government to conduct damage assessment of Hydropower Plants in Sikkim’s Teesta Basin

Ministry of Power
Ministry of Power

The Ministry of Power maintains constant vigilance over the aftermath of flash floods in the Teesta Basin of Sikkim. Shri Pankaj Agrawal, Secretary (Power), conducted an emergency meeting with NHPC, joined by senior officers from the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority.

The flash floods, occurring on the night of October 3rd and 4th, 2023, have resulted in the submergence and destruction of all bridges downstream of the Teesta-V Hydropower Station up to Tarkhola/Pamphok. This has significantly disrupted transportation and communication in these areas. The floodwaters exceeded the dam’s capacity at the Teesta V Power Station (510 MW), leading to the station’s shutdown and power generation cessation. NHPC successfully evacuated its personnel from all project sites, although one casualty was reported at the Teesta V power station.

The ongoing construction of the Teesta VI hydro project (500 MW) by NHPC has been hampered, with floodwaters entering the power house and transformer cavern. Additionally, bridge connections between the right and left banks at the barrage, as well as the Power House, have been washed out. Two crane operators working at the project site are currently missing, and search efforts are underway.

No significant damage has been observed at the TLDP-III (160 MW) (Teesta Low Dam – III Hydropower Plant) and TLDP-IV (132 MW) power stations located downstream in West Bengal. Both power stations are secure but are currently shut down due to heavy siltation brought by the floodwaters. NHPC is actively working to resume electricity generation at both projects in the coming days. Furthermore, no damage has been reported in the Rangit valley, where NHPC’s Rangit IV power project (120 MW) is under construction, and Rangit Power Station (60 MW) is in operation.

A comprehensive assessment of the damage at all project sites will be conducted once the water levels recede. NHPC is collaborating with the state government, disaster management authorities, and district administration to ensure the supply of essential commodities, including food, medicine, and electricity, to the affected regions.

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