River diversion tunnel for PHPA-II complete

River diverted through tunnels(picture courtesy: Minjur dorji)
River diverted through tunnels(picture courtesy: Minjur dorji)

With the river diverted, dam construction is now scheduled to be completed by October this year

One of the main civil works on Punatsangchhu hydroelectric project –II (1020 MW), the construction of a diversion tunnel, has been completed. The river has been diverted for the dam construction earlier this week by chief advisor of the interim government Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye who was the chief guest at the inaugural of the river diversion tunnel.

The managing director of PHPA, Mr RN Kazanchi said the construction of the dam will now be in full swing, as both the river and highway traffic has been diverted through the tunnels. “We are expecting that the dam construction be complete by October, 2013,” the managing director said.

The main civil works of PHPA-II was divided into three packages; the first one includes construction of diversion tunnel, dam, intake and desilting arrangement including hydro-mechanical works, and highway tunnel.

While in the first phase, 1.5km highway tunnel was completed and opened to traffic on January 26, 2013, the diversion tunnel construction of 12m diameter and 888m length has also been completed along with the hydro-mechanical works of gates and hoists. The river was diverted on May 20, 2013.

Excavation of the entire four underground desilting chambers crown with a length of 2km has been completed as well. Four power intake tunnels of 1.1 km have also been completed out of a total length of 1.9km.

Mr Kazanchi said all the works of the first package are progressing as per schedule.

The works were awarded to M/S Jaiaprakash Associates Ltd. at a contract sum of Nu 12.24bn on June 26, 2011 with a completion time of 66 months.

PHPA-II is one of the hydroelectric projects under the 10,000MW projects that the Indian government agreed to help Bhutan develop within 2020.

Interim chairman of PHPA-II Dasho Chewang Rinzin said, “PHPA-II will be amongst the fastest constructed hydroelectric projects in this part of the world on commissioning, and will set the trend for hydro power construction.” He also acknowledged the efforts of Indian companies, local citizens, and other relevant authorities in implementing the project.

Also present at the inaugural were dignitaries like the Indian ambassador H.E Mr V.P Haran, the Dorji Lopon of ZhungDratsang, interim government advisor and DGPC MD Dasho Chewang Rinzin, and various government secretaries.

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