Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said it will let the Kulekhani hydropower project’s reservoir fill up due to cracks and other damage to the dam caused by the April 25 earthquake.
A study team of Japan’s Nippon Koei too had advised the NEA not to fill up the Indrasarowar reservoir completely. “As per their recommendation, we will be filling up only up to 1,525 metre depth of the reservoir,” said a project official,
adding the pool is 1,530m deep. “If the pool is filled up completely, it can create additional pressurise on the already-damaged structure,” said the source.
As of Sunday, the water level in the reservoir is 1,516.9m. This rainy season, the water level can be raised up to an additional 9m, according to the project.
The dam has sustained a small crack in the middle, while it has been subsided 10cm. The dam had also caved in due to a flood a decade ago. Following the damage, the NEA had assigned the 14 member Japanese team to study the status of the dam.
The 7km-long reservoir was built three decades ago. It supplies water to both Kulekhani I (60MW), Kulekh-ani II (32MW) and Kulekhani III (14MW) projects.