Guwahati, 27 March: A large portion of a powerhouse of Kopili hydroelectric project of NEEPCO at Umrangso in Assam's Dima Hasao was damaged due to sudden rising of water level in the Kopili river.
According to a NEEPCO press release, at around 10:45 am on 26.03.2022, a temporary barrier constructed at Intake Weir in Khandong System at Kopili HEP was breached by suddenly raised Kopili reservoir. The water gushed into the Head Race Tunnel and thereafter entered into both the Power Houses connected to Khandong system. Both the power houses were under shutdown condition due to repairing works in Intake and HRT since 11th Jan’2022. The workmen and the engineers engaged in the repairing works were quickly evacuated. The process of lowering of Intake Gate was started immediately at around 11:00 am.
Reservoir water kept on rising rapidly with attainment of level of EL. 709.0 m at around 02:00 pm. This raising is due to unprecedented and untimely rainfall in the catchment area.
Team of NEEPCO engineer and staff was deputed to oversee the process of lowering of surge shaft gate. While going to the surge shaft area, a big tree got uprooted and fell on the members of the team at around 01:40 pm in the vicinity of surge shaft. Two engineers and one workman got crushed in the accident. Anupam Saikia, Dy. M (C) and Demiraj Johari, Contract Labour died on the spot itself. Jayanta Hazarika, Manager (C) who was severely injured in the accident and brought to the primary health center of the project succumbed to his injuries at around 3:15 pm which was confirmed by the official press release.
A team of senior officers has already reached the project sites to oversee emergency actions. Efforts are on to delink HRT and Power House from reservoir by lowering of the Intake Gates.
While NEEPCO deeply mourns the loss of the precious lives of its fraternity, they are fully committed to extend their dependent family members with relief measures as per the Company's policy and provide them with all the support to the extent possible.