North India Power Crisis Sparked by Himachal Hydro Lockdown
Himachal Pradesh’s two major hydropower projects remained shut on Monday due to high silt level in the Sutlej river, sparking a power crisis in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The country’s biggest hydropower plant, the Nathpa-Jhakri power project and Jaypee Karcham Hydro Corp Ltd’s 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project, both in Kinnaur district, have been closed since Sunday due to sudden rise in silt level.
The silt level has been alarmingly high in the river, said Vijay Verma, deputy general manager of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL), the company that owns and operates the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri power project,
“Heavy rainfall in the catchment area has created flood-like situation in the Sutlej,” he added.
Jaypee Group’s Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project has also been shut. Official sources said the stoppage of power generation at both the plants has created power shortage in the northern states.
They supply electricity mainly to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.