Reports have cropped up which suggest that a major fire has broken out at the 120 MW Bhaba hydel project. This power plant is also one of Asia’s few underground power stations in the high altitude mountain ranges. The fire is reporttedly causing an extensive loss to the German-made transformers installed in 1989 in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The project is a state funded venture.
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Reports say that the fire broke at 3.30 am on 23rd Jan morning after a blast. The fire engulfed the entire yard forcing a shutdown of the power generation at the project. Exact cause of the fire is still unknown. However no human loss has been reported due to the fire, officials said even as there are reports about three persons injured.
Chairman-cum-MD of HPSEB Ltd P C Negi told the Indian Express that efforts were underway to control the fire. Assistance has also been sought from the district administration and Jai Prakash Power company, beside mobilising fire extinguishers from different agencies.
Help was also taken from Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam–which owns 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydel project on Sutlej river.
Officials claimed that the loss could be over Rs 2 crores but power generation loss at the project could make the things more complicated for the HPSEB Ltd.
Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur D D Sharma said the information about the fire was received at 4 am and immediately teams alongwith equipments were sent. Even Jai Prakash power company was told to extend immediate help.
Teams from Shimla with special fire control equipments were also rushed as the transformers fire could result in substantial damage to the project machinery.
Some years back,the project had also suffered loss to its machinery due to Sutlej water gushing into its under ground power house and resulting in huge loss,beside a forced shut down of the power generation.
The 120MW Bhaba project of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board was commissioned in 1989-90. It’s first hydro power project in the country to House a fully underground generation plant.
Source: Grand View Research