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North Bengal, Darjeeling to get power from Teesta projects

Tuesday, 19 February 20130 comments

Gangtok Feb 19: With two hydel power stations of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation on Teesta in West Bengal scheduled for commissioning soon, power cuts in the hills of Darjeeling and the plains of Siliguri may now be a thing of the past. 

While the 132 MW Teesta Low Dam Project (TLDP) III at Rambhi is scheduled for commissioning in March 2013, the Teesta Low Dam Project IV is scheduled to go on stream from June, according to NHPC general manager R K Verma. 

The two projects are, however, now ready for commissioning after delays. While TLDP III was scheduled for commissioning in 2006 and is coming after a delay of seven years, TLDP IV was scheduled to start generation in 2009-10 and is being commissioning after a delay of about four years. Both the projects had suffered, however, because of the frequent bandhs and disruptions in the course of the Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling, with the state government failing to give NHPC protection to continue work. Both the projects are located by the side of National Highway 31A. 

Though West Bengal is entitled to get 12% free power from the two projects, state government sources said it would purchase the entire generation of 292MW from the two projects for distribution in the adjoining areas of North Bengal. In the past decade, the entire Darjeeling district, hills and plains, have faced frequent power cuts. The distribution network through the West Bengal SEB transmission lines, with 380 towers and connection with the main grid in North Bengal in Jalpaiguri, is also in place. 

Verma said all the four turbines of the TLDP III project, which is a run of the river scheme, are in the process of being synchronized, with synchronization of the last one scheduled to be completed in the next 15 days. The project has a 32.5m high and 140m long concrete barrage, having seven openings. TLDP IV will have a 30m high dam with a total length of 504m at the top. 

NHPC executive director, Sikkim and West Bengal, S R Ray said that the proposed 520MW Teesta IV project had received environment clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forest. Now the techno-economic feasibility report would be prepared, following which the project would be sent to the concerned Union cabinet committee for approval. In the mean time, land acquisition at the project site would continue.

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