Regarding leakage in the power plant channel of the Srinagar dam, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Alaknanda Hydro Power Corporation Limited to ensure further action at the earliest in a time-bound manner.
The applicants, Uttam Singh Bhandari and Vimal Bhai had sought that proper measures be taken to plug the leakage from the power plant channel and to ensure safety of the lives of the residents of Mangsu, Surasu and Naur Thaapli villages in Tehri district. According to the applicant, the Srinagar hydroelectric project is located on the bank of river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand and has set up a channel which is four kilometres long to carry water from the Alaknanda river to the power house to generate electricity.
In the year 2015, there was a serious breach in the canal causing damage to the crops and houses.
An inquiry was held and report submitted by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology on December 30, 2015 recommending re-strengthening of the power channel and investigation of the structural design. However, in absence of requisite action, serious breach again took place in December 2018. Vide order dated May 23, 2019, a report was sought from a joint committee comprising representatives of the Department of Power and Energy, State of Uttarakhand, the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) and the Tehri district magistrate. The report filed on July 9 this year mentioned that from barrage to power house, the river water passes through 1.1 kilometre underground channel and 3.2 kilometre open channel.
During the inspection, water leakage was observed from underground channel at Supada village, however, there was no human settlement. During the inspection, Lakhpat Singh, Gram Pradhan of Supada informed that water leakage from channel at said area is from long time.
Village Magasu is located below the open water channel, therefore, in case of leakage and/ or release of excess water from barrage may have adverse impact on village.
It was informed by the residents of Magasu that during the year 2018 leakage from water channel were observed several times, which caused loss of agriculture land and other properties.
Mahant Sukhdev Suri of Kilkilikhar temple in Naur village informed that leakage were from underground channel makes this area prone to adversity. It was also informed that due to leakage of water from channel, villagers demanded resettlement elsewhere. Considering these points, the NGT directed the Alaknanda Hydro Power Corporation Limited to ensure further action at the earliest in a time bound manner which may be overseen by the committee which has furnished the report to be coordinated by the UEPPCB.