High sedimentation augurs ill for Kulekhani I, II projects

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    SEP 13 – Electricity generation at Kulekhani I and II hydropower projects may go down significantly as surface level of the Kulekhani Reservoir is increasing every year owing to high siltation and sedimentation.
    With increasing silt and sediment accumulation, the reservoir can now store only 59.99 million cubic litres of water against the initial capacity of 85.3 million cubic litres. Its surface level has increased by over 11 meters since the project came into operation 30 years ago.
    According to chief of Kulekhani II Sachidananda Mishra, out of the total amount of water stored in the reservoir, electricity could be generated from 56-meter level previously but now only from 45 meters.
    This is because, according to engineers, silts and sediments have been deposited up to 170,000 cubic meters deep. They said that the reservoir’s capacity to store water may be decreased further if the silts and sediments were not cleared at the earliest. While Kulekhani I and II, built with JICA’s loan aid, together generate 92 MW of electricity.
    The China-aided under construction Kulekhani III is expected to generate 14 MW upon its completion.
    A report submitted to the government by the project two years ago had pointed out an urgent need to clear the silts and sediments with an estimated budget of Rs 500 million in two years.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post