At least four officials were feared dead after a water supply line of the Kopili hydro electric project at Umrangshoo in Assam’s Dima Hasao district burst on Monday morning.
Sources said the burst of pipeline of the project operated by North Eastern Electric and Power Corporation (NEEPCO) flooded the entire area including the power house.
The NEEPCO authorities have sought help from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Assam Rifles to deal with the situation.
“The pipeline that supplies water to the turbine of the power station got burst today morning. The heavy force of the water flooded the entire area including the power house, triggering the crisis” Hemanta Deka, NEEPCO executive director (Operations and Management) told Northeast Now.
Deka said he can divulge the details once he reaches the spot.
“The phone network is poor in the area and we have yet to get further details from the people on field,” he said.
NDRF teams have been pressed into service to rescue the affected people.
“An NDRF team has already been rushed to the area. We have also sought help from the Assam Rifles unit,” Rikideep Phukan, district project manager of the Assam State Diasaster Management Authority (ASDMA), said.
He said the water pipeline leaked this morning around 6.30 am.
“As there was heavy force of the water, it flooded the entire area including the power house,” said Phukan.
“There were four persons in the power house who got stranded when the tragedy took place. They remained missing so far,” he added.
Phukan said that the rising water level has hampered the rescues operation.
“The problem is the water level. Unless the water level is reduced, it is difficult to start rescue operation. The NEEPCO authorities are trying to reduce the water level,” Phukan said.
Sources said that the water supply tunnel carries water about 14000 litres of water per second and water fountain rose up to hundreds feet to sky after the burst.
The spillover water also flooded some parts of the Umrangshoo town.
The 275 MW Kopili hydro power project is one of the major power generation company in Assam.
First commissioned in 1976, four stages of the project generate 275 MW of power at present.