A Milestone in the Power Sector
Mizoram, a state which is on the path of rapid development and progress, will have a new feather in its cap of achievements with the 12 MW Serlui B Small Hydel Project which is expected to be fully commissioned by the end of September 2010. The completion of this Hydel Project, a first of its kind has been eagerly awaited by the Government and the people alike. As the Project is a State Sector Project, all the power produced will be utilized by Mizoram, unlike Centrally funded power projects where the States’ share are just a meagre 12 percent. A infrastructural asset – the Project will not only produce power and ease its shortage, but can have tremendous potential in other sectors like tourism, water sports and fisheries, a potential talked about by none other than the Chief Minister Pu Lal Thanhawla himself on a recent trip to Serlui B Small Hydel Project accompanied by the Tourism Minister Pu S. Hiato, who echoed the same.
On the 12th of Dec 2003, the Government of Mizoram, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Metallurgical Electrical Consultant India Ltd. (MECON) signed agreements for the construction. Major components of the works were awarded to BHEL-MECON Consortium on turnkey basis and the work commenced in November 2004 and was expected to be completed by Dec 2007. Heavy rains during May – September, the peak of the monsoon season halted the work; furthermore, the inaccessible terrain and the technical problems cited by BHEL-MECON slowed down the progress of the work due to which the date of completion was extended to June 2009.
Serlui B SHP is located about 12 kilometres from Bilkhawthlir, a small village on the NH-54. The Hydel Project has three units, each with a capacity to generate 4 MW of power and the estimated cost of completion is expected to be about Rs. 191 crores. As of now about 95 percent of the work has been completed and about 174 crores have been spent so far. The Dam of the Hydel Project is called an ‘earthen dam’ since earth is used for the dam unlike other hydel projects in Mizoram. The dam is 51.3 metres high from the river bed, 293 metres long, 8 metres narrow at the top and 394.2 metres wide at the bottom.
The 12 MW power hence added will be a boon for the power starved state whose power requirement is about 107 MW, out of which 77 MW and 52 MW are the deficits at the highest and lowest respectively. The cost per unit has been estimated at about Rs. 3.69 per unit.
The 53 km long scenic lake created by the inundation of the surrounding areas is in itself a beauty to ravel at, parts of which can be seen from the NH-54 – the lifeline of Mizoram. Plans are being drawn up by the Tourism Department of the state to develop tourist infrastructure. Since the area adjoining the Project is thickly forested, it could be developed as an ideal eco-tourism centre.
The Hydel Project submerged Builum village and the affected villagers were rehabilitated on a new site Bawktlang near Kolasib. Adequate compensation and rehabilitation schemes for the affected were planned and compensation for submerged agricultural land was also factored in the cost of the Project.
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