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2 hydel units by Dec

The TLDP-III project site at Rambi in Darjeeling. File picture

Takdah, Nov. 26: The NHPC Limited said today that two units of the Teesta Low Dam Project-III would start generating power by December 31. The units would yield 64MW.

It is the first of the two projects on the Teesta to become operational in the district.

S.R. Roy, the executive director of NHPC, said: The project will be commissioned by December 31. We will make two of the units at TLDP-III operational and the remaining two will be made functional by January end. The two units (to be operational in December) will generate 64MW (together). When all the four units become operational, TLDP-III will be able to generate 132MW.

There are five hydel projects on the Teesta out of which three are in Sikkim and two, TLDP-III and IV, are in Darjeeling. Two of the three projects in Sikkim, TLDP-V in Singtam (510MW) and TLDP-II in Rangit (62MW) have already been commissioned. In Darjeeling, TLDP-III is in Rambi, 70km from Darjeeling, and TLDP-IV is in Kalijhora, 75km from Darjeeling. We are looking at commissioning the 160MW TLDP-IV by September 2013, said Roy.

Most of the electricity generated by the projects is likely to be drawn up by the state.

A memorandum of agreement had been signed between the NHPC and the Bengal government (in 2003) and the state government had expressed willingness to buy all the electricity generated from these two projects. It is up to the Union power minister to decide whether the entire electricity will be given to Bengal or shared with other states, Roy said.

According to NHPC reports, TLDP-III was supposed to be completed by 2008 while TLDP-IV was to be commissioned a year later. When asked about the delay, Roy said: We faced difficulties as there was lot of flooding at the sites in 2007 and 2009.

According to NHPCs 2002 estimates, the Rambi project was supposed to cost Rs 768.92 crore and TLDP-IV was a Rs 1,061.38 crore project.