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  • Four Employees Missing After Water Tunnel Burst,NEEPCO Incurs Loss of Rs 600 Crores

    Published on October 16, 2019

    By Bhupen Goswami

    GuwahatI : The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has incurred a loss of around Rs. 600 Crores at the due to the blast at the Kopili dam. This was confirmed by NEEPCO Chairman and Managing Director VK Singh during a press conference in New Delhi . Four persons including three employees of the NEEPCO-run Kopili Power Project went missing following a burst in a water tunnel at Umrangso early Monday morning that also led to massive flooding at the power project site and in other parts of the town. Efforts are under way to rescue the missing employees who have been identified as Robert Baite, Prem Pal Balmiki, Joy Sing Timung (all Kopili Hydel project employees) and an employee of a firm involved in tunnel repair work. The burst in the water tunnel that carries water at 12000 litres/sec from the NEEPCO reservoir to the Kopili Hydro Power Project site led to massive flooding and a water fountain that rose up to several hundred feet into the sky. People said they heard a deafening sound and then saw the water sprout. The missing employees were reportedly engaged in repair works when the incident took place. The water tunnel that cracked was incidentally repaired last year by a team of experts. Senior NEEPCO and Dima Hasao district and police officials have rushed to the spot to assess rescue efforts.Singh further added that the cause of the blast is the result of the acidity in the water. Singh said that the acidic water led to the corrosion of pipes and other materials, which caused the pipeline to blast.  Earlier, local MLA along with NCHAC members visited the site to take account of the situation there. As per the independent Director of NEEPCO, Vijay Kumar Gupta, the pipeline was damaged because of corrosion of the metal pipes due to the acidity in Kopili river water which is a result of coal mining in Meghalaya. He had earlier warned the Union Minister including Assam and Meghalaya about the acidities but no attention was paid to this.