The flash flood in Uttarakhand has resulted in an approximately Rs 1,500-crore hit to NTPC Ltd’s 520 MW hydropower project, Tapovan-Vishnugad, according to Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, R K Singh. The damage to the under-construction, run-of-river project has also made it difficult to ascertain how much time it would take to commission, the minister said.
Singh, who visited Tapovan on Monday to assess the extent of the damage at the project site, had said that estimated losses to the project were worth around Rs 1,500 crore, as per a PTI report. However, the Union minister ruled out any possibility of the project being scrapped, it added.
“But there is a question mark now on how long it will take to desilt it, as lakhs of tonnes of silt is lying at the project site,” PTI quoted Singh as stating. “As of now, it is difficult to say when we will be able to resume work at the site, and when the project will be commissioned,” Singh said, according to the PTI report.
At the same time, the actual damage, including losses to the project, are still being assessed and the amount cited may not be final, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Power told The Indian Express. “At present, the focus is on rescue operations,” the spokesperson said.
The total cost of the project is Rs 5,867 crore, of which, expenditure till date is Rs 4,780 crore, the spokesperson added.
Earlier on Monday, the minister had said that approximately 34 people were stuck in the tunnel and, while 70 meters had been cleared, around 180 meters were left to clear out.
NTPC, meanwhile, informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday that the impact of the damage to Tapovan-Vishnugad “may not be considered material”, as per SEBI regulations. The flood has impacted a part of the project, but “appropriate insurance cover” is available for the loss and damage caused, it said.
Chamoli Disaster Manage-ment Officer Nand Kishore Joshi told The Indian Express that a total of 186 workers were missing on Monday, while around 20 bodies have been recovered so far.
— With PTI inputs