Fire devastates underground hydropower plant in Himachal

Shimla: Fire-fighters were battling an underground inferno at the 120 MW Bhaba hydropower plant in Kinnaur that broke out in the early hours of the morning.

Dalip Negi, the sub-divisional magistrate at Rampur said that fire fighting vehicles and personnel were sent from Rampur at 4 a.m. to the power plant site as Reckong Peo the district headquarters of Kinnaur was snowbound.

Bhaba power house
Bhaba underground power house on fire

Initial reports reaching the state capital said that the fire had broken out on the transformers bay. No loss of life has been reported so far.

When contacted Mahesh Singhal, superintending engineer generation at HP state electricity board confirmed that a fire had broken out at about 3 a.m. today morning.

“At the moment I’m unable to comment on the cause of the fire, the damage done or the losses incurred,” said Singhal, who was on way to  the accident site in Satluj River valley about 170 Kms from Shimla.

Being an underground plant, mobile phone connectivity was unable to get through to the key people managing the plant.

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Vehicles lined up outside the access tunnel to the power house

The 120MW Bhaba plant was one of the first hydropower project in the country to house a fully underground generation plant.

Winters freezing up a lot of water flows in Bhaba river, a tributary of Satluj River that feeds the plant, the HP State Electricity Board was using the limited power generated from the plant for meeting peaking requirements in the morning and evening hours.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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