NHPC violating court orders : CEA

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NHPC carried out work on Subansiri Lower dam in violation of court orders: Central Electricity Authority (CEA)

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) official data confirms that 184,574 cubic metres (cum) of concreting done in main dam after court stay order. This volume of concrete is equivalent to over 30,000truck loadsof material. Or around the amount of concrete required to build 7000 two-bedroom flats. NHPC lied to both the courts and the people of Assam.

NHPC has illegally carried out work on the main dam in the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower hydroelectric project in violation of orders of the National Green Tribunal.

In its common  judgement dated October 16, 2017 in Tularam Gogoi Vs Union of India&Ors.(and Aabhijeet Sharma Vs Union of India &Ors.), the NGT had recorded that by its past orders dated 11.12.2015 and 5.04.2016 it had only allowed urgent repairs and emergency maintenance work for safety and protection for people in the vicinity. It had clearly stated that no work on the main project will take place. The main judgement is attached as Annexure 1.

AASU carried out an analysis of the quarterly review reports of the Hydro Project Monitoring Division of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) which are uploaded on its website at the following link: http://cea.nic.in/hpm.html

Chapter 6 in each of these quarterly reports is on ‘Status of under construction HEP’.  Although various quarterly reports say that work is stopped since 16.12.2011, analysis of the data in these reports reveals a gross violation by NHPC.

Reports of the Quarterly Review No. 82 (July – September 2015) upto the Quarterly Review No. 96 (January – March 2019) are uploaded at the above mentioned weblink.

From the Quarterly Review No. 82 (July – September 2015) to the Quarterly Review No. 86 (July – September 2016)  in Chapter 6 on the project status vis-à-vis the main dam it is stated:

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) official data

“Concreting: 575426 cum completed out of 1823782 cum”

Chapter 6 of the CEA Quarterly report No. 86 (July – September 2016) is attached as Annexure 2.

However, the very next quarterly report, No. 87 (October – December 2016) states in the same section on project status of main dam:

“Concreting: 7.5lacs cum completed out of 19.96 lacs cum”

The change of concreting target is due to the changes in design of dam. However, the important part to note is the change in actual concreting done. It has already jumped from 575426 cubic metres (cum) to 750000 cubic metres (cum) in one quarter.

Chapter 6 of the Quarterly report no. 87 is attached as Annexure 3.

The Quarterly report No. 88 (January – March 2017) records concreting done on dam as:

“Concreting: 7.6lacs cum completed out of 19.96 lacs cum”

Chapter 6 of the Quarterly report No. 88 is attached as Annexure 4.Since then the figure remains the same until the 92nd report.

Therefore, this shows that from October 2016 to March 2017 the change in concreting on the main dam is from  575426 cum to 760000 cum.  Therefore, in this period the concreting done is 184574 cubic metres.

The CEA report clearly states this is the concreting for the main dam. It is clear that such a large quantity of concreting for the main dam will have no connection with urgent repairs and emergency maintenance work for the project which was permitted by the courts.

Just to give an idea of the scale of concreting done in lay person’s terms: If we were to take a truck of volume 6 cubic metres (cum), it means the amount of concrete poured into the dam after the court’s stay order is equivalent to 30, 762 truck loads! 

To give another example, this translates into the concrete required to build around 7000 two-bedroom flats in an RCC construction.[1]

NHPC has been lying to us. It has committed a gross violation of the court orders and cheated the people and government of Assam.

In fact, even before the court orders, if we see the CEA monthly report for December 2011 to look at status of construction, it shows the concreting completed by 31.12.2011 as 556539 cum of concreting already done. This figure is less than the figure of 575426 cum which is the subsequent quarterly reports (e.g. 86th quarterly report). Therefore, even after December 2011 when NHPC claims it stopped work and before the court stay order, it had done additional concreting work on the main dam equivalent to 18,887 cum. The December 2011 CEA monthly report is attached at Annexure 5. But an additional huge amount of concreting  equivalent to 184,574 cum has been done after the court stay order, October 2016 onwards, as pointed out above. Therefore, after December 2011 the concreting work on main dam is 203461 cum of concrete.

NHPC needs to be held accountable for the lies it has told the people of Assam and the courts in India.


[1]184, 574 cubic metres of concrete is equivalent to around 65 lakh cubic feet of concrete. This translates into the concrete required for around 59 lakh square feet of construction if we were to take conventional RCC construction. If we take a  two bedroom flat of 850 square feet, this translates into concrete required for building 6968 flats!

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