dadyal, Dadyal Online
Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2012

Imminent threat: Concerns as ‘cracks appear’ at G-B’s power plant reservoir

Imminent threat: Concerns as ‘cracks appear’ at G-B’s power plant reservoir

GILGIT: Over 70 families in Naltar near Gilgit are at risk of being washed away, as cracks have appeared in the walls of a power plant’s reservoir upstream, according to local residents. 

“There are visible fissures in the walls which pose a serious threat to us,” said Naltar resident Irshad Hussain. He added that if the reservoir ruptures due to excessive pressure, it could wash away the families living downstream.

At least 10 kilometres of road, trees and other property will also be washed away, Irshad said.

Residents said that have been observing the situation with growing apprehension, adding that they are now thinking of shifting to a safer place to avoid the fallout.

The authorities maintain however that there is no risk to the residents. “There is nothing to worry about,” said Hamid Hussain, the reservoir’s executive engineer. He added that some leakage from the joints in winter is normal, since the joints contract in low temperatures.

The hydel power project was built in 2008 during Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s government; construction was completed in four years. It is the largest hydro power plant in G-B. A Chinese firm worked on its construction under the supervision of the Water and Power department.

Currently, G-B is experiencing a 132 megawatt power shortfall. “The shortfall increases considerably in winters when consumption increases while production decreases,” said an official.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd,  2012.

2 January 2012, 3:14 am

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