Assam Government has alerted all the district administrations bordering Bhutan (downstream) to remain vigilant and assist the people in every possible way after the Royal Government of Bhutan has issued a notification confirming that Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) will be carrying out a Reservoir scouring of Kurichhu Hydropower Plant by Friday night.
In a letter to the director of the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM), Thimpu, Bhutan, DGPC said that they have planned to carry out the reservoir scouring on July 14. This activity has been planned around this time as the power plant has been experiencing quite a severe intake choking due to a huge accumulation of logs, debris and driftwoods at the reservoir, washed down by the rain water from the vast catchment area. Owning to this, it eventually impedes the generators to generate the power at their full capacity, thus, incurring a huge loss to the nation.
Druk Green Power Corporation also stated that to carry out this task, the water stored in the reservoir shall be released, in a controlled manner though, from 12 am of Friday onwards till the reservoir level is fully depleted. “By around 9 am, it is expected that the river will have a free flow,” the letter reads.
Meanwhile, to avoid any untoward incidents downstream of the power plant, DGPC has urged the NCHM to relay this information to all the relevant stakeholders.
On the other hand, the Hydrology and Water Resources Services Division, National Centre for Hydrology in an order and Meteorology, Thimpu, Bhutan, in an official notification directed Kurizampa station, Mongar for upstream record and Panbang station, Drangmechhu for the downstream record to monitor and record the changes in the flow and record the event.
Furthermore, in order to get the clear picture of the event, the above mentioned site offices are instructed to start recording from 8 p.m of July 13, 2023 to 12 a.m of July 15, 2023.
Taking to Twitter, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The Royal Government of Bhutan has informed us that tonight there will be an excess release of water from the Kurichhu Dam. We have alerted our district administrations to remain vigilant and assist the people in every possible way in case the water breaches the Beki and Manas rivers.”