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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Major fire at underground Bhaba Hydel project in Himachal Pradesh, power generation shut

Reports said the fire broke at 3.30 this morning after a blast and fire engulfed the entire yard.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
Updated: January 22, 2015 8:36:33 pm

Major fire broke at 120 MW Bhaba hydel project –which happens to be one of Asia’s few underground power stations in the high altitude mountain ranges, causing an extensive loss to the German-made transformers installed 1989-90 in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The project belongs to state owned PSU– HPSEB Ltd .

Reports said the fire broke at 3.30 am on Thursday morning after a blast. The fire engulfed the entire yard forcing a shut down of the power generation at the project. Exact cause of the fire is still unknown. However no human loss has been reported due to the fire, officials said even as there are reports about three persons injured.

Chairman-cum-MD of HPSEB Ltd P C Negi told the Indian Express that efforts were underway to control the fire. Assistance has also been sought from the district administration and Jai Prakash Power company, beside mobilising fire extinguishers from different agencies.

Help was also taken from Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam–which owns 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydel project on Sutlej river.

“Since the entire property was underground and smoke has engulfed the project,there are some problems in controlling the fire. We have got some success till 2 PM yet the fire is still on because the transformers are filled with highly inflammable oil,” he said.

Negi however ruled out possibilities of a sabotage yet an FIR has been lodged at local police station. He said the loss was being calculated.

Officials claimed that the loss could be over Rs 2 crores but power generation loss at the project could make the things more complicated for the HPSEB Ltd.

Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur D D Sharma said the information about the fire was received at 4 am and immediately teams alongwith equipments were sent. Even Jai Prakash power company was told to extend immediate help.

“In this kind of incident, there is a need of specialized fire extinguishers. Fifteen of them were provided from Reckong Peo. Few they have managed to get from Shimla and Jai Prakash Company also has some fire fighting equipments.”

Teams from Shimla with special fire control equipments were also rushed as the transformers fire could result in substantial damage to the project machinery.

Some years back,the project had also suffered loss to its machinery due to Sutlej water gushing into its under ground power house and resulting in huge loss,beside a forced shut down of the power generation.

The 120MW Bhaba project of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board was commissioned in 1989-90. It’s first hydro power project in the country to House a fully underground generation plant.

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