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Beas tragedy: SLDC gets clean-chit, probe said officials acted ‘prudently’

Officials of the State Load Dispatch Center were given a clean chit by a probe ordered by the Himachal govt.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
July 5, 2014 9:33:59 pm
Sluice gates of the Larji hydel project were closed Saturday to allow a search along a 3-km stretch of the Beas.    (Lalit Kumar) Sluice gates of the Larji hydel project were closed Saturday to allow a search along a 3-km stretch of the Beas. (Lalit Kumar)

A high-level probe ordered by the Himachal Pradesh government to look into the role of State Load Dispatch Center in the Beas tragedy, especially for ordering Larji authorities to cut down power generation at the project, has given a clean chit to its officials and concluded that they acted prudently.

Neeraj Kapoor, a Chief Engineer-rank officer in the state’s Energy Directorate Saturday submitted his report in three separate volumes, running into over 100 pages. The report concluded that the officials at SLDC acted prudently in taking decision to ask the Larji project authorities to scale down generation from 138 MW to 32 MW to maintain grid frequency.

Principal Secretary (Power) S K B S Negi told The Indian Express that inquiry report has been received. Kapoor was given two-week time to finalise his report as a follow-up to Mandi Divisional Commissioner Onkar Sharma’s inquiry.

“We will study the report and take a decision if some action is required. But, since the state High Court is already dealing with a PIL on the tragedy, the government may appraise the court on the findings of the Chief Engineer’s inquiry on role of SLDC,” he said.

Onkar Sharma’s report had blamed the Larji project authorities for the tragedy, caused by abrupt discharge the the water from the reservoir resulting in death of 24 students of a Hyderabad engineering college on June 8.

In Sharma’s report had claimed that there was no warning system in place near the mishap site. He had raised questions on the role of SLDC in ordering the Larji project authorities and not passing similar orders to private sector producers, including Jaypee group having two mega projects Baspa-II and Karcham Wangtoo.

However, Kapoor, quoting stringent provisions and regulatory mechanism framed by the National grid authorities,said the SLDC was mandated to maintain frequency – which is 49.72 hz at the lowest point and 50.1 hz at highest level. However, on the day of the tragedy the frequency at the grid had exceeded 50.3 hz, the report said.

The report said if SLDC had failed to act,the national grid could have collapsed.

The report highlights the fact that only those projects owned by HPSEB and Baspa-II project (Jaypee group) come under the purview of SLDC while three mega projects which are 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydel project, NHPC’s Prabati project and Jaypee’s 1000 MW Karcham Wangtoo do not come under SLDC.

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