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Web Exclusive | June 2013

Jharkhand's Khunti district to get hydel plant

Jharkhand's energy department is working on a plan to set up a 62 mw hydel power plant at the Koel-Karo basin of Torpa block in Khunti district. The proposed power plant will not displace a single family as was the case with the abandoned Koel-Karo project of the Centre, which was to generate 710 mw and displace about one lakh families besides submerging over 50,000 acres of land, officials concerned said. The Koel-Karo project, which was envisaged in 1957 as part of the second five year plan, was shelved in 2003 owing to protests by local people largely tribal families.

The Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) initially planned to scale down generating capacity from the original plan of 710 mega watt (mw) to 300-400 mw and review the project. As power generation would be scaled down, the height of the dams would also be reduced and this in turn would ensure minimum submergence of catchment areas, much less than what was originally envisaged.

But the National Hydroelectricity Power Corporation (NHPC), which took over the project in 1980 from the Centre, did not show any interest in handing over the project to JSEB, said the official sources.

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