CHANDIGARH: Four hydel power stations in Himachal Pradesh — the 1500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri, 1000 MW Karcham-Wnagtoo, 412 MW Rampur and 300 MW Baspa hydel power projects — were shut down due to a sudden surge in silt level.
The gates of these dams were also opened after an alarming rise in water level at Sutlej and its tributaries due to a cloud burst in Kinnaur.
The cloud burst took place at three places in Kinnaur district — Kannam, Tangling Nullah and Morang. The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway was blocked at two places due to landslides.
They will be opened soon, officials said.
Also, the Poorvani-Tangling bridge and another at Ribha Nullah were swept away by the rising waters. In Kannam, a few orchards were damaged by the swelling waters.
The silt level at Khab confluence of Sutluj and Spiti was recorded at 8,305 and 1,270 (particles per million) PPM respectively, while it was 16,000 PPM at Naptha Dam.
While the operation at Naptha Dam was resumed after a brief halt, electricity generation at other hydel power stations will only resume once the silt level drops below 5,000 PPM.
People residing nearby have been advised to keep away from these rivers, as the water levels are expected to rise further. Some families were evacuated after floodwaters gushed into their houses.