Public appeal against proposed pumped storage hydro project in Tamil Nadu

A group of residents and environmentalists has recently sent an online petition to the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) seeking to reconsider the terms of reference (TOR) clearance for TANGEDCO’s proposed Sillahalla pumped hydro-electric storage project (PHESP) in the Nilgiris.

The project, which is proposed to have a capacity of 1000 MW, will be taken up before the EAC for TOR clearance on July 29. The project envisages the construction of an upper reservoir measuring more than 260 feet in height in Bembatti village along the Sillahalla stream, a tributary of the Kundah River. A lower reservoir, which will be more than 350 feet in height, will be built further downstream, past the existing Kundah Palam dam. The two dams would be connected by a tunnel and water from the lower dam will be pumped to the upper dam, and used to generate electricity. The project will apparently submerge more than 315 hectares of forest, private and government lands when the reservoirs are fully constructed.