Dikchu, 11 Jun:

A series of public awareness sessions on disaster management and the process of release of water from the reservoir of the Dikchu hydel project was held by Sneha Kinetic Power Project Ltd. along areas downstream from the dam site. SKPPL, it may be recalled, has constructed and manages the 96 MW Dikchu Hydro-Electric Project here and was recently in the news when, despite having being commissioned in March earlier this year, it still has no warning systems in place to alert people downstream. After a group of people were nearly washed away by unannounced release of water from the reservoir recently, the High Court had stepped in with a suo moto PIL and directed that proper warning systems be put in place. In follow-up, awareness sessions were held at various places on safety measure and water releasing protocol from the reservoir especially for people living downstream of the HEP below Lingdok where the reser

voir of the said project is located. A stretch of 6kms from the confluence of Ratey Chu and the Bakcha Chu below Lingdok 9th Mile where the dam of the said project is located, and the power house complex located at Dikchu Bazar comes under sway of sudden rise in water level when the sluice gates at the dam are raised to drain overflow from the reservoir. The awareness sessions were held at Dikchu Senior Secondary School, Lower Rakdong, Dikchu Bazar and the Dikchu Naya Bazar. Similar sessions were held for the people of Lingdok and 9th Mile on 10 June, Satrday. The awareness was conducted by the SKPPL officials who also undertook door-to-door visits to ensure that the word got out. The people were advised not visit the riverside and remain alert for the sound of sirens which will be blared before water was released. This, it may be recalled, is the first time that such an effort has been made by SKPPL.