Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project

Why in News?

  • Recently, The Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric project (SLHEP) on the Assam-Arunachal border was recently hit by a landslide during pre-monsoon rain.


  • SLHEP is an under-construction gravity dam (nearly 90% of the work completed) with capacity 2000 MW (8×250 MW).
  • It Is the biggest hydroelectric project undertaken in India so far and is a run of river scheme on river Subansiri.
  • A run-of-river dam is one in which the flow of water in the river downstream of the dam is the same as the flow of water upstream of the dam.
  • In other words, the dam doesn’t hold back/store water behind it; it runs with the river.
  • The construction of SLHEP is being undertaken by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited
  • Subansiri, or “Gold River” is the largest tributary of the Upper Brahmaputra river.
  • It originates from the Tibetan Himalayas and makes its way to India via (Miri Hills) Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The project had been kept pending due to local agitation over several dam safety and administrative issues involved in the implementation of the project like:
  • SLHEP contravenes the 1980 Brahmaputra Board Act by transferring the work of Water Resources Department of Subansiri Basin from the Brahmaputra Board to the public and private sector.
  • As assessed by IIT-Roorkee, there is also the issue of increased seismic threat levels to the dam.
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