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Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Northeast Today

Four missing after Assam hydroelectric project pipeline burst

Four missing after Assam hydroelectric project pipeline burst
October 09
13:02 2019

NET Bureau

At least four technicians are missing after a tunnel pipeline of a public sector hydroelectric project in central Assam’s Dima Hasao district burst early Monday morning.

The 275 MW Kopili hydroelectric project at Umrangso was the first that the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) undertook after it was formed in 1976.

District officials said the burst led to massive flooding at the power project site and in other parts of Umrangso. The damage is yet to be assessed.

A NEEPCO spokesperson said there was a deafening sound as the tunnel carrying water at 12,000 litres per second from the corporation’s reservoir to the hydroelectric project site gave way leading to a water fountain more than a 100 feet high.

Three of the missing technicians were identified as NEEPCO employees while the fourth was engaged by a firm engaged in tunnel repair work.

“A National Disaster Response Force team has been deployed but the search has been affected by the high level of water of the Kopili river. We have also sought help from an Assam Rifles unit posted nearby,” said R. Phukan, project officer of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Officials of NEEPCO have been complaining about the highly acidic water of the Kopili river because of effluents from coal mines in Meghalaya upstream. The acidic water, they said, have over the years damaged machineries and pipelines.

Source: The Hindu

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