A portion of land on which Mizoram’s largest electricity sub-station stands has sunk several feet, threatening to damage infrastructure and plunge upto three-fourths of the state in darkness in case a major landslip occurs.
The 132 KV sub-station at Zuangtui, on the outskirts of Aizawl, feeds power to an area roughly spread over six and a half of Mizoram’s eight districts.
“This substation feeds electricity to all parts of Mizoram except the Hachhek hill range of Mamit district and Kolasib district (on the state’s northern region bordering Assam). In the worst case scenario, if the land sinks further and equipment is damaged, all these areas will be without electricity until the equipment is fixed, which could take months,” said Lalnunfela, a sub-divisional officer with the state’s Power and Electricity Department who is in charge of the sub-station.
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At the spot, an area the size of a volleyball court in the east of the campus has sunk two to three feet, with sections of several towers and equipment straddling the uneven terrain.
An official said they have had to replace the wires connecting these towers several times since the movement has made them taut and in danger of snapping.
Workers have also spread waterproof sheets on the ground since incessant rains has soaked hilly Mizoram for months now, causing innumerable landslides that have blocked roads and damaged buildings.
Several metres downhill, a section of road has met the same fate, with a roughly 10 metre stretch having sunk considerably.
The P&E department has decided to build a new sub-station half a kilometre from the current spot. Work on the new location is underway and the project is estimated to cost a little over Rs 20 crores with a deadline of March 2016.
“Right now we hope it stops raining heavily so no further damage is caused and the land does not sink further,” said Lalnunfela.