Uncertainty looms over the rescue operation at the flooded Kopili power project at Umrangshu in Assam’s Dima Hasao district as the authorities have failed to reduce the water level from the project site even after more than 72 hours have passed since the tragedy.
Debotosh Bhattacharjee, general manager of the Kopili power project on Thursday claimed that they have been successful in lowering the intake gate of the project but admitted that the water level in the flooded project is too high to start the rescue operation.
“We have been able to lower the intake gate of the project to a substantial level. But the water level is still very high. We hope we would be able to reduce the water level within next two to three days time,” he said.
The four persons including three staffers of the state run North East Electric and Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and another belong to a private firm, who had been working at the power house, went missing after a pipeline to the project burst on Monday.
Bhattacharjee, however, refuted the allegations of lack of maintenance of the project and said that maintenance is done at regular intervals as and when required.
“We do not believe that there is lack of maintenance which has led to the tragedy. All the experts have come here and we are struggling hard to sort out things,” he said.
The locals, however, alleged that there were maintenance problems in the project which has led to the incident.
The Assam Congress has also alleged that there were lack of maintenance due to non-release of funds by the BJP led government at the Centre which has led to the tragedy.
“The rescue teams have arrived here and they were waiting for lowering of the water level. Four of our people are still trapped inside the project.
“At this moment our main objective is to lower the water level so that we can start the rescue operations,” he said.
Bhattacharjee said that it is difficult to estimate the total loss as of now.
“First we have to enter the project site and then only we can make an estimate about the total loss,” he said.