Few years back, I was visiting Palampur for a marriage and had enough time during the day time. So we went to a Hydro project which is located in a small village near Baijnath. Let's start this Photo Journey to Utrala Hydro project in Himachal Pradesh...
Here is a photograph of famous Shiva Temple at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh. We started our journey from Palampur, through Paprola and took a left without touching Baijnath. This cut is just at the boundary of Baijnath town. This Shiva temple is visible on top of hill of Baijnath and visible from surrounding areas. Temple is very well maintained with a committee which is formed to ensure that all necessary things keep happening in the campus without any disturbance or indiscipline. There is a beautiful garden in the back side of this Shiva Temple at Baijnath...
Here is a zigzag road which leads to Baijnath. I had heard of lot of Hydro projects in Upper Shimla and Kinnaur regions, but had never though of Palampur region. In Himachal, projects upto 5MW can be setup by private companies and many companies from Himachal and South India are operating in Himachal. To know more, check out http://himurja.nic.in/smallhydro.html
After taking left turn from Paprola, we started climbing up and road was in worst possible state. Very narrow road with no maintenance was taking us towards the place where water was reserved and lots was connected to lot of tunnels on higher hills. The planned town you see in above photograph is probably the colony of workers form this hydro project.
We crossed through various villages and farm-land on the way from Paprola to Utrala.
Himachal Pradesh Government decided to explore hydel potential in small hydro sector through private sector participation during 1995-96. Since then allotment of project sites has been a continuous process. Till this year (2011), 450+ Small hydro Electric Projects (upto 5MW capacity) with an aggregate capacity of 1150+ MW have been allotted to different companies. Out of these 45 projects with an aggregate capacity of 175+ MW have been commissioned. A goal of 500 MW through Small Hydel Projects by the end of 2014 has been fixed...
It was a wonderful ride till the project location, if I forget about the part when car tyres were overlapping with road boundaries. It was scary to sit on side seat and look down from your car. At many places, I even suggested to park the car and walk up few kilometers to reach the location.
Here is one of the news talking about top companies participating in power generation through hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh - Click.
Here is first view we get of small water reservoir on top of the hill. This water comes through various tunnels in surrounding mountains and lifted up after generating some power out of it's heavy pressure on turbines installed down in the base of this huge hill.
Puneet standing with information board of Utrala Hydro Project in Himachal Pradesh (In Palampur/Baijnath region.).
Hope to visit Kinnaur in 2012 to visit more such projects along with wonderful places around these.