Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Aug 26:
While the leakage in the powerhouse gallery of the Hirakud dam in Odisha has triggered nationwide concern over the safety of the structure, a special investigation by ‘Sambad’ has revealed that there has been another leakage in the powerhouse turbine chambers.
According to the reports, out of seven turbine chambers of the powerhouse, there have been leakages in the two turbine chambers- no-5 and 6.
Despite the leakage, engineers of the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) have been running these two turbines instead of taking remedial measures to plug the leakage.
Apprehending danger, the dam employees in charge of these two turbine units have expressed their unwillingness to perform their duty.
Meanwhile, the powerhouse authorities have made arrangements to flush out the leaked waters from these two turbine chambers with the help of 20 high-powered pumps.
This exercise has been taking place at regular intervals, reports said.
On the other hand, the powerhouse gallery no-470, under these two turbine units, has been submerged under nearly two feet water. As a result, around 8-10 workers who were in charge of the gallery no-470, are not performing their duty apprehending short circuit in the power cables that have been laid along the gallery roof.
The investigation has also revealed poor maintenance of the turbines. The engineers, in charge of the maintenance, have not taken any steps for greasing and colouring of these turbines at regular intervals.
While repair work of turbine no-1, which has been lying defunct for a long time, has begun, two turbines have been stopped. At present, out of seven turbines, two are being used for hydro power generation.
While the reservoir has sufficient water, the reason as to why the OHPC authorities have not taken any steps to operate all the seven turbines for optimum power generation, needs to be probed.
It was also revealed that several machineries worth over crores are found lying in the open inside the powerhouse without any maintenance or care.
Besides, a huge generator placed on the left side near the entrance of the powerhouse has been lying in the open as the authorities have not made any provision to provide a roof over it.
Besides, there has been no safety checks and maintenance of the high powered transformers near the powerhouse. While the authorities have not yet constructed a boundary wall around these transformers, they have also not taken any measures to flush out stagnated water lying under them, thus putting the lives of the workers at risk, the reports added.