WBSEDCL takes up hydro power projects in North Bengal rivers

Conventional Hydro power sector in West Bengal will soon get a boost as the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) has taken up some new hydro power projects in various rivers in North Bengal. 

A senior official of the WBSEDCL said the conventional hydro project had a potential capacity of 1478 MW on the Himalayan foothills in North Bengal. Rammam Hydal Project in the Rammam River on Darjeeling-Sandakphu road has the potential of 263 MW. It was being developed in various stages, of which 51 MW has been operational, while in other phases the works were underway. 

WBSEDCL has been generating power from Jaldhaka Hydro Project in Bhutan which has a current capacity of 44 MW, while the project has the potential of 53 MW. In case of Teesta Hydro Project in West Bengal, 132 MW of energy has already been produced while it has the potential of 456 MW. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) was completed for developing the Teesta Hydro project. Teesta Mahananda Canal project with a potential capacity of 82.5 MW was being developed by the WBSEDCL in various phases of which 67.5 MW was already made operational. The remaining works were being implemented. 

The state government has taken up Teesta Low Dam I and II projects having a capacity of 81 MW. The DPR has already been completed. The processes for the implementations of project are underway, a senior official of the WBSEDCL said. The other hydal projects that are in the pipeline are Teesta Intermediate Hydal Project of 84 MW capacity and Raman Stage I Hydal power having a capacity of 48 MW. The Detailed Project Reports were being completed and the projects were under implementation. 

It may be mentioned here that the state government had given a boost to Centre’s mega merger plan of the state owned units with the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) by handing over some of the state’s hydro power projects with a combined capacity of 293 MW to the Centre. 

The projects are Teesta Low Dam-V, Teesta Intermediate Stage and Rammam Stage-I. All these projects were located in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. These projects were so far under West Bengal government-run power agency WBSEDCL. 

A senior official of the power department said that all these projects were under various stages of implementation. As the NHPC being is a specialised player and better equipped technically and financially, it will take these projects forward. State cabinet had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NHPC last year to transfer some of its projects. According to the agreement, all these projects will be developed on build, operate and maintain basis by NHPC.
Pradip Chatterjee

Pradip Chatterjee

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