Nod to raise water storage in Tehri reservoir worries locals

While the people residing on the periphery of the 42 sq km Tehri dam reservoir are facing issues of sinking land, and landslips, which remain unaddressed, the State government has permitted the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) to increase the permissible limit for water storage in reservoir to 830 metres (m). This has been objected by locals and environmental activists.

Ravi Chopra,Director of the Dehradun-based People's Science Institute, said, “How can the government allow the THDC to fill the reservoir up to 830 m when land in the periphery of the reservoir is sinking, there are constant landslips in the area, and the bridges get submerged in the reservoir water every monsoon season?”

Dr Chopra was the Chairman of the Expert Body which was formed under the August 2013 order of the Supreme Court to study the environmental degradation caused by hydroelectric power projects in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Valleys.

The Expert Committee report states: ‘The Tehri dam is not designed to perform a flood control function. It does not have a mandated flood cushion.’

Till August 2010 the permissible Full Reservoir Limit (FRL) of the dam was 820 m. This limit was crossed in October, 2010 when the level in the Tehri dam reached 831.45 m. Sudden release of water, that year, inundated many areas, including the Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh, Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar. Many villages in Haridwar’s Laksar belt were also severely affected as the agricultural land and houses were damaged by the river water. The rising water levels in the reservoir led to inundation of the upstream town of Chinyalisaur. Later fresh landslide zones were created around the reservoir rim, the report states.

Hemant Dhyani from Ganga Ahvaan said, “One cannot be sure of the amount of rainfall that will be received during the monsoon season.

What will happen if the reservoir is filled up to its mandated permissible limit of 830 m and then heavy monsoon rains fill the reservoir more. It would result in the situation that arose in the year 2010.”

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 6:07:07 PM |

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