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Heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh led to an abnormal rise in the level of the silt content in the Satluj river, forcing the authorities to keep the operation of three mega hydropower plants shut on the third day, officials said on Thursday.
The closure of the projects disrupted power supply to the northern states, including Delhi. "The 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri plant and 412 MW Rampur Hydro Electric Project has been closed since August 7 as the silt content in the river rose more than the permissible limit," an official with the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) told IANS.
The company operates both the hydro projects. SJVN operates the Nathpa Jhakri hydropower project in Kinnaur district, while the Rampur plant is located in Shimla district.
Likewise, the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Project, also located in Kinnaur district, has been closed, officials said in Shimla. The projects are likely to resume operation on Friday, an official said.
The closure of the hydro plants has led to a power crisis in the northern region. The northern power grid came under strain as the states procuring power from the projects were forced to overdraw from the grid.
The projects supply power mainly to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
These outages have resulted in shortage of power by 800-1,000 MW in the state, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd Chief Engineer (System Operations) Suneel Grover told IANS.
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