Photographer's Note

The Kalpong River project has a 34- metre high concrete dam on the left fork of the river Kalpong which is seen in this photograph here, a 25-metre high rock-fill dam on the right fork, 257-metre-long in-take approach channel, and a 133-metre long in-take tunnel.The Kalpong river traverses in the northward direction for a length of about 35 kilometres before it joins the Aerial Bay Creek on the east coast near Diglipur. The project envisages harnessing of the available water resources of the Kalpong river in its upper reaches for power generation.

With the rapid rise in global energy requirements, efforts to find suitable alternatives to petroleum-based resources have gained momentum. The energy crisis assumes grimmer proportions particularly in areas which have no immediate access to conventional sources of energy. This fact finds its application in totality in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar. These remote islands which are at a distance of 1200 kilometres from the nearest land mass of the Indian mainland have traditionally depended for their power requirements on diesel shipped in from outside to feed the Union Territory’s 34-odd-power stations that run on diesel generators. The capital, Port Blair, and its suburbs in South Andaman also depend on diesel generators for their electricity needs which run at a very high production cost of rupees nine per unit. On the other hand, the production cost of electricity from the Kalpong project is merely Rs. 1.89 per unit. Meanwhile, a local undertaking is all set to generate 20 MW of power from its diesel-based power generation plant to supplement Port Blair’s total power consumption. That these diesel-run generators pollute the environment is a fact and a necessary evil. The solution to this problem perhaps lies in the optimum use of non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and bio-mass.

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Additional Photos by Paul Solitudine (soledad) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 27 W: 0 N: 26] (140)
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