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Report of the Technical Expert Committee for Subansiri Lower HE Project Assam / Arunachal Pradesh Submitted to Planning Commission, Govt. of india, New Delhi duly 2012 by Dr. CD THATTE Dr. MS REDDY ae Former Secretary, MoWR, Gol Former Secretary, MoWR, ‘Member, TEC Member, TEC PREAMBLE bansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project (SLP), one of the key projects in the Subansiri sub-basin 3 the aerators is under construction through NHPC since 2005 in Arunachal Pradesh, at place called Gerukamukh where the river enters the plains. Plate ~ 1 shows the location of Dam as also the interstate boundary between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The project consists of i) a concrete gravity dam 116 m high above the deepest river bed and 123 m high above deepest foundation level and ji) a Power House with an installed capacity of 8 units of 250 MW capacity each totaling 2000 MW. About 50% of the work in terms of cost has been completed, incurring an expenditure of Rs.5689 Crores upto May '12 out of estimated cost of Rs. 10667.09 crores (Revised Cost Estimate at December 10 PL). Initially, there was sporadic criticism of the project from sections of civil society in Assam with All ‘Assam Students Union (ASU) in the forefront. The criticism gradually became strident, ending with a crisis leading to stoppage of work after December 15, 2011 At the instance of Govt. of Assam (GoA), in the context of mounting criticism against the Project, NHPC constituted an Expert Group (EG) in May’2008 to evaluate the downstream (d/s) impacts of the Project. The membership of the EG included professors from IIT-Guwahati (IITG), Guwahati University and Dibrugarh University. The EG presented its report in March 2011 after due deliberation of the project planning and its design philosophy, a sife visit to SLP, a visit to Bhakra Dam and discussions with NHPC. The views of the EG were at variance with those of NHPC and could not be reconciled even after extensive consultations. The recommendations of EG were discussed in Assam Assembly and later considered by a House Committee (HC) of Assam Legislative Assembly, who by and large reiterated EG’s recommendations. EG’s report was also discussed by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in the presence of GoA, EG and NHPC representatives. As desired by GOA, NHPC also constituted, a Steering Group (SG) to examine Part Il of EG report and identify feasible remedial measures to take care of Possible d/s impacts, flood, erosion etc. and report on their physical / financial aspects (Apr 2011), Shri Jairam Ramesh, the then Minister of State for Environment & Forests visited Assam in September'2010 and had consultations with certain civil society groups on the issue of big dams in ‘the north-east. He brought their grievances to the notice of Prime Mini: e Minister vide his letter dated September 16, 2010 Rae wee ymittee (TEC) At the instance of PMO, the Planning Coreoaiog eee ee +e Paty pi ee D. Thatte and Dr. M. S. Reddy as Members we aon o how NHPC could move forward. The Terms of Reference (ToR) for TEC are given in the ‘Office Memorandum dt. 12.1.2011 constituting the Committee . ‘The TEC held four formal meetings, one meeting was held by Planning convmaslon tte TEC ca all Gol organizations concerned, two meetings were held with CWC/CEA and rem meee md held with NHPC, CWPRS and Brahmaputra Board (BB). TEC visited the Project ani ea; went around the West bank of Majull Island, where River Subansiri meets Brahmaputra, members individually kept in touch with CWC / CEA / NHPC / CWPRS from time to time. TEC lastly considered at the instance of the Planning Commission, one after another, views cen ee| experts named by GoA and ii) CWC/ CEA.. Their views have been taken on- board in TEC’s report appropriately where necessary. SECTION=I BACKGROUND 1. An appraisal of the background information of Subansiri Lower HE Project (SLP) would help to put all the issues concerning the Project in proper perspective. The information would also help in understanding the issues better. 2. Beginning of 20th century was marked by an important event in the history of Water Resource Development (WRD) of India, when the first Irrigation Commission (1901-03) was constituted, It recognised the need for storage dams besides the diversion works being built till then, to overcome the twin problems of drought and flood and address water demands for multiple purposes. A major area in North India is drained by the Ganga — Brahmaputra — Meghana (GBM) basin system accounting for 59.4% of the country’s surface water resource and yet it remained unharnessed. The catchment area and population of Brahmaputra river was respectively 54% and 19% of Ganga. Yet, the annual run-off was skewed at 165%, due to incidence of relatively very heavy rainfall in Brahmaputra sub-basin. Distress due to flooding was, therefore, the main concern. River Subansiri accounts for about 11% of Brahmaputra annual average run-off of 537 BCM (Ref.-3, 24). Along-with Dibang & Siang, it, therefore, became the focus of attention for amelioration of distress. 3. The story of SLP begins in 1955, when Brahmaputra Flood Control Commission (BFC), GoA envisaged a 125 m high dam at Gerukamukh for purposes of flood control, Much later, Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) i.e. National Flood Commission, which was set up by Government of India (Gol) in 1976 to evolve a coordinated, integrated and scientific approach to the flood control problems in the country, recommended measures to be taken for moderating the intensity of floods and reducing flood damage. It had listed five States which needed urgent help and attention for the purpose of flood control. Assam was one of them (1980). 4. Asa follow-up of RBA recommendations, Brahmaputra Board (BB) was established in July 1982 tunder the administrative control of Ministry of Water Resources by an act of Parliament (46 of 1980), The Act provides for the Central Government to take under its control, the regulation and evelopment of the inter-state Brahmaputra river valley whose limits include the whole of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya and part of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura (RR-1). ‘The BB was mandated to carry out Surveys and investigations of the Brahmaputra Valley and Prepare a Master Plan for the control of floods and bank erosion and improvement of drainage in regard to the development and utilization of water resources in , having due eae i navigation and other beneficial purposes. the basin for irrigation, hydro-power, Plan (1986) in three parts for overall 5. in partial fulfillment of its mandate, BB prepared a Master wao of the region. The Master Plan Chapter Xion Storage Dams and Chapter Xi fedinteaort recognised that a long term solution to the flood related problems of Brahmaputra . building high dams and large reservoirs behind them, in its upper reach, to hold back about 20: 30% of the river run-off with accompanying sediment load. The Master Plan Ist part covered ; Brahmaputra river main stem and was approved in 1997, the 2nd part covered Barak (Meghna) ti 2 its tributaries, and the 3rd covered Tributaries of the Bramaputra main river. Entire Subansil basin was covered in Part-I (RR-4). 6. Inthe original proposal (1983) incorporated in the Master Plan (MP), BB envisaged construction of a2s7 fe rock fill dam at Gerukamukh on Subansiri with a gross storage capacity of 14 BCM (RR- 3). Chapter IX of the MP covered Flood Moderation due to SUP without naming Majuli island problems in particular, It mer downstream (d/s) of SLP,, but did not estimate it. Chapter X covered spillway arrangement in left saddle 175, “Tain Tength catering to an inflow flood of 28600 cumecs and routed outflow of 24000 cumecs at FRL 334 & MWL 334.8 m through 18 m wide, 8 gates at crest Elevation (El) 314 m. The project investigations could not be pursued because of objection from Govt of Arunachal Pradesh (GoArP) due to likely submergence of some important towns like Daporijo, District Head Quarters, Dumporijo, a Sub-Division Headquarters, Tamen town and 13 small villages having population of about 25,000. Out of the total submergence area of 193 Sq Km., the forest area was 150'Sq Km. Later in 1995, however, the GoAr? relented and allowed BB to revive the investigations of river valley projects in Arunachal Pradesh. 7. Approval was accorded in June 1995 to resume investigations in the river basins of Siang and Subansiri to re-examine the possibility of execution of multipurpose small / medium projects which would cause least amount of submergence of land, displacement of people and damage to the _ environment. Accordingly, BB decided in July 1995 to take up investigations of an alternate proposal as follows: ‘4272 m (revised 213 m) high dam u/s of Tamen on river Kamla (a tributary of river Subansiri) with an installed capacity of 1600 MW (Subansiri Middle Project). A272 m (revised 265 m) high dam at Menga u/s of Daporizo on river Subansiri with installed capacity of 2000 MW (Subansiri Upper Project). . A116 m high dam site which was already investigated for the 257 m high dam at Gerukamukh on river Subansiri with an installed capacity of 2000 MW SLP. In pursuance of the above decision, BB carried out further survey & investigation including preparation of DPR during 1998-99, 8. In the wake of Prime Minister's initiative for Hydro Power development, a meeting was held by the Secretary to Prime Minister on 26.7.9 when it was decided to constitute a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for expediting the works in Brahmaputra Basin. Subsequently, Joint Secretary to Prime Minister vide his note dated 9.8.99 conveyed that Prime Minister had approved that the SPV should beset up by Ministry of Power (MoP) for i) Survey and Investigation and implementation of Dihang and Subansiri Multipurpose Projects, and ii) finalizing Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of lower sites of Dihang and Subansiri Projects by March 2000. Subsequently, a meeting was held by Additional ey MOP on 14.9.99 when it was decided that action for investigation and preparation of DPR for all the Six related projects is to be taken up forthwith by NHPC, as the constitution of SPV will take some time. During a meeting taken by Joint Secretary (Hydro), MOP on 13.12.99, it was decided 8B the would associate NHPC in the preparation of DPR of SLP. The DPR was oe ean 3 by March 2000, However, Gol realised that the same cannot be completed pee sheey thon letter to MoWR dt. 15.2.2000, MoP desired that the SLP is handed over to NI ae ete work of preparation of DPR could be completed expeditiously. Subsequently, nde ien tec No. 24/2/97-ER/698-709 dated 22.3.2000 conveyed that MoWR had decided that See SLP and Lower Dihang Project so that the balance work of preparation of DPR cou! NHPC immediately. MoP vide letter dated 1.5.2000 issued Order Under section 18A of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 authorising NHPC to establish operate and maintain the Siang and Subansiri Projects in Arunachal Pradesh. The Order was revised vide MOP letter no. 16/23/99-D0 (NHPC) dated 10.10.2002 wherein MOP conveyed the approval of Gol to establish, ‘operate and maintain SLP (2000 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh & Assam. Also, vide MoWR letter dt.22.03.2000, BB was directed to hand over the Subansiri and Siang Projects in Arunachal Pradesh to NHPC and NHPC was directed to complete the balance work of preparation of DPR. NHPC was also asked to take over all the six sites ‘lock, stock and barrel’. MoWR further directed to constitute a Joint Committee consisting of technical, administrative and financial personnel from BB and NHPC to frame the modalities for effecting the transfer ete. In pursuance of the said order of MoWR, a Joint Committee consisting of officials from the BB and NHPC was constituted by MoWR vide O.M. No. 24/2/97- ER/1031-32 dt. 06.04.2000. The first meeting of the Joint Committee was held on 24-25th April 2000 when it was decided to form a sub- committee of NHPC and BB officers for physical verification of the assets and liabilities created by the Board on Survey & Investigation of Subansiri and Dehang dam projects and for verification of the cost of the assets jointly. The second meeting of the Joint Committee was held on 16-17th May 2000 which indicates that process of handing over and taking over of machineries, other assets and relevant documents of the projects done by the Joint Inspection Committee were almost completed. The BB, as per the directions of Central Govt,, is party to the decision in handing over / transfer of the projects which has been done with its approval. 9. Finally, vide their letter no. 16/23/99-DO (NHPC) dated 10.10.2002, MoP conveyed the approval of Gol to NHPC to establish, operate and maintain the SLP (2,000 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh & Assam. Accordingly, the DPR was prepared by NHPC as per the revised MP undertaken by the BB with a lower dam at Gerukamukh and was submitted to CEA on 07.06.2001 (RR-16) for techno- economic clearance which was accorded on 13.1.2003, subject to conditions including finalisation of integrated flood studies for the 3 dams in consultation with BB and CWC. CCEA sanction was accorded to SLP on 9.9.2003. The SLP became a Hydro Power Project (HPP) with only incidental benefits of flood protection, as informed by NHPC to TEC on 19.7.2011, The EIA study was carried Out by WAPCOS in 2001 as per MoEF Guidelines of 1994, covering catchment area and a7 km streteh on both u/s and d/s of SLP (RR-19). MoEF clearance was Biven on 16,7.2003, prescribi Minimum Flow of 6 cumecs between the dam and TRC, Forest clearance was accorded on 12.10.2004 with 14 conditions. NHPC carried out an Integrated Flood Moderation ‘Study under the Chairmanship of Member (RM), CWC (Oct 2005) (RR-24). BB conveyed to NHPC its comments (Jul 2005) seeking restriction on release (post completion of all the 3 dams) from SLP to 4500 cumecs to care about areas d/s of Chouldhowaghat, with a rider that it could be raised to 7000 cumecs once the embankments are strengthened. This was not possible with Project as planned by NHPC. At the same time whether the| embankments are strengthened or not is not yet verified by NHPC. 10. Draft DPRs of Subansiri Upper (SUP) and Subansiri Middle Projects (SMP) were prepared by NHPC in August 2004 and June 2005 respectively, However, with the advent of Private Power producers, while NHPC was allotted only SLP, Subansiri Middle and Subansiri Upper projects were allotted to private developers This project has been awarded and handed over to M/s Jindal Power Ltd. (M/s. JPL) by Arunachal Government as per decision of MOP. GoArP has signed MOU for implementation of SUP with M/s KSK on BOOT basis. A After obtaining all requisite clearances, NHPC started work on SLP in 2005. However, MEF, oe according he ‘wife Clearance, imposed a condition, inter alia, that “there would be no construction of dams upstream of SLP in future in Subansiri basin.” This was further ae Hon'ble Supreme Court order dt. 19.08.2004. GoArP filed an appeal and the Supreme Court, order dated 21.8.2009, modified the condition as “Any proposal on the upper stream of Subansiri river would be considered independently on its merit by the standing committee as and when submitted by the proponent”. 12, Soon after the construction began, local agitation started against the project. Though GoA was in favour of SLP, it could not openly support its construction against the wishes of the agitators. In pursuance of a decision taken during the meeting between GoA, NHPC and AASU, chaired by the Hon'ble Minister of Power, GoA in December 2006, NHPC awarded a d/s impact study in May 2008 to a group of experts from IITG, Guwahati University and Dibrugarh University. The ToR for the EG comprised: i) assessment of impacts on environment, ii) likely spread of their distribution pattern, iii) management plans for direct impact zones, iv) development plans for affected people / villages, and v) developing deliberative mechanisms to minimise impacts. The timeframe for the study was 15 months. 13. EG gave a preliminary report (Feb’2009) followed by a draft report (June 2010) (RR-28) after extensive discussions and interaction with NHPC, a site visit to SLP, a visit to Bhakra Dam and discussions with JTR team on seismicity, all in March 2009. NHPC had responded (27.08.2010) with clarifications, explanations, undertaking etc. along-with comments of CWC, CEA, GSI, etc. 14, While the above consultation process was going on between EG and NHPC, on demand by members of Assam Legislative Assembly to study d/s impacts of the mega Hydel Projects in Arunachal Pradesh, a House Committee (HC) of Assam Legislative Assembly was constituted with 19 members under the Chairmanship of Shri Membar Gogoi, MLA vide Gazette Notification dt. 21.07.2009 (Annex 4). According to the broad Terms of Reference, the HC was to have an interaction with all stakeholders, EG, Experts of Assam & Arunachal Pradesh from various fields, etc. The interim report of the committee was submitted on 31.03.2010 and final report was presented to the House on 17.07.2010 (RR-27). The major recommendations of the committee are as follows: ‘A. The dam being constructed by the NHPC at Gerukamukh should include multipurpose provisions like irrigation, flood control, anti-erosion measures, development of roads and embankments etc for the d/s areas. The expenditures likely to be involved in such multi-purpose provisions should be included in the DPR. B. The NHPC should ensure adequate flow of water during the lean period in the river Subansiri and ‘take up measures for flood control during the rainy season in the downstream areas. C In order to maintain regular flow of water in the river Subansiri, NHPC should take steps to ‘operate one turbinecontinuously for 24 hours instead of total eight turbines so that excessive flow ‘of water does nat create heavy fload in the d/s areas. Hs ae oe sree eed by the NHPC for conservation and sustainable development | dolphin and also flora and fauna etc. in the downstream areas. E. The GoA should consider the Recommendations made by the £6 in its Report at Para 10.2.2 in /15. NHPC briefed the Chief Minister (CM) & other Ministers of GoA as well as err ua ~ 3010 about the d/s impact issues, assured about SLP safety, and conveyed its readiness ae reasonable and feasible corrective measures wherever required. It also made a presentat SLP In a Public Conference at Guwahati on the subject in Oct 2010, organized by related academics. ently, GoA submitted the EG Report on d/s Impact Study and Assam HC Report to MoEF Saar ce Accordingly, the EG report was discussed in the meetings of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of MoEF held on 7th October, 13th November and 11th December 2010 at New Delhi. In the meetings, issues raised by the EG were discussed in presence of officials of Goa, NHPC, experts from IITR and EG members. It was also discussed and decided in the EAC meeting that the issue of seismic design parameter (SDP) raised by the EG in their report may be got reviewed by another group of experts from relevant disciplines from 1ITG, IITR, EG and NHPC and to further discuss the issues raised in EG Report pertaining to seismicity, earthquake etc. However, as lITG ‘expressed their inability to participate in the discussions, the proposed review did not materialize. ‘Thereafter, NHPC approached Prof. A. S. Arya (as discussed in the EAC meeting), who is Prof. Emeritus, IIT Roorkee and an eminent scientist in the field of Earthquake Engineering. He submitted Js ‘opinion to NHPC on 07.06.2011 (RR-31). He confirmed that the PGA value of 0.38 g for Subansiri Lower Project is appropriate. Separately, as suggested by the EG, Palaeoseismic and 2-D seismic studies were also undertaken by NHPC through Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun and M/s Alfa Geo India Limited, Hyderabad respectively. Both submitted their reports. (Sept. 2011 & March 2012) which are considered in paragraphs 37 to 38. (RR-33 & 38) 17. £G submitted its final report in March, 2011 (RR-30) without much change in the draft, but did include a detailed response to NHPC comments. The views of the EG contained in its final report continued to be significantly different from those of NHPC. The report included recommendations in ‘two parts, Part-| about the feasibility of the dam and Part-II about mitigatory measures to be taken to minimize the d/s impact. The main issues raised by EG in part II, related to i) dam design inadequacy due to geological and seismological aspects, ii) flood control, iii) potential for landslides in the reservoir area and in upstream causing unsafety for the SLP, iv) d/s socio-economic impacts due to peaking and minimum flows, and v) lack of provision in SLP for irrigation, drinking water, impact on groundwater etc. see and EG could not reconcile their differences, especially on seismological aspects. While it was willing to consider d/s mitigatory measures subject to their technical feasit and economic viability, NHPC was firm on the seismological aspects of dam design, since the site specific SDP studies of SLP were carried out by DEQ, IITR and cleared by National Committee on Seismic Design __ Parameters (NCSDP) after detailed deliberations. NHPC had, however, not reacted on EG's Y observations on dam foundation characteristics. << Abate eld dol ee A NHPC constituted (19.04.2011) a Joint Steering Group/ Committee (SG), in consultation with GoA, comprising members from CWC, Water Resource Department (WRD), Govt. of Assam, BB, lITR, TG & NHPC. However, IITG again expressed their inability to be part of this committee onthe. Ground that two of its faculty members were members of the EG which carried out the d/s Impact Study for SLP. The ToR of the SG broadly cover the examination of the fe. asibility of Part-I Recommendations of EG's Report. So far four meetings i i of SG have been held, meeting held on 8th June 2012 at me flood protection works, release of Guwahatl, various issues pertaining to d/s ae poate : nas aaa emmattt water for sustenance of aquatic life, ete. were . tt Z ‘Seeretary, WRD, Govt. of Assam that the proposal for flood protection measures amounting. fRs.1564 Crores prepared and submitted to the GoA for their consideration needs sanction 20. Given below, in brief, is the present status of construction on the project. CLEARANCES: CCEA Approval : September 2003 CCEA Approved cost : Rs. 6285.33 Cr. (Dec’02 PL) (CCEA date of completion : Rs. Sept.’10 (7 years from CCEA approval) Now anticipated date of completion : December 2015 |i, Hydro-Mechanical works: Out of total quantity of 22598 MT, approximately 12163 MT of HM. parts have been received at site as on 31 May 12. Draft Tube workiis under progress and till date 15% work has been completed. Erection of 2nd stage equipment of intake gates of Unit- 7 to 8 is in progress. Pressure Shaft steel lining erection work is In progress. il. Electrical & Mechanical Works: Turbine Stay Ring and Spiral Case erection of unit- 1 has been completed. Draft Tube Elbow Erection of Unit-2 is in progress. FINANCIAL STATUS Revised Cost Estimate : Rs. 10667.09 Cr. (December’10 PL) Curpdlative expenditure : Rs. 5689.54 Crores (upto May’12) - /21.1n spite of the agitation, there were no efforts to stop or hinder the construction until a few a “ months back while the project related issues were being investigated by EG and discussed in the Assam Assembly, Since the last one year, the agitation has been intensified. The transportation of materials and equipment to the project has been prevented by the agitators who have laid siege to the stock yards at the railway station, Eventually, the work on the project came toa stop. Trucks carrying material to SLP are being diverted to idle parking. The GoA has mostly remained a mute ‘spectator except for initiating action to set up the SG. 22. The ToR to TEC as listed in its Office Memorandum dt. 12.1.2011 constituting the committee (Annex 2) were ayfollows: i) study technical reports of lITG and IIT-R and report on jow NHPC can move forward, 27 suggest changes in design / dam structure if found inadequate, {jennie flood management and spillway arrangement, iv) assess impact on down-stream due to flood, v) suggest measures for safeguarding environment and for effective development. GoA is concerned with SLP stoppage but is reportedly waiting for TEC report which it hopes will be helpful in convincing agitators about the SLP. 23. Keeping in view the above ba ekground, TEC reviews, ln in the sections that follow, the issues arising Out of EG's recommendations and the concerns of GoA a ind suggests a way forward. SECTION-I REVIEW OF EXPERT GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS ind scope 4. The EG presented its recommendations in two parts. Part-| was mainly about the size 2 oF tP based ons perceptions ofthe seismological aspects concerned with desien ofthe So recommending down-scali g and review ofthe entire project, Parl was about the Petey impacts on the d/s due to construction of the dam. The present Section It deals Seismological / B. Geological aspects, both dwelt upon at length by the EG. The are reviewed below. A. Seismological Aspects 25. Concerns for the safety of dam in the seismic environment of the North-East are understandable. However, the recommendations of the EG tend to be rather ambivalent. ‘At 123 m above the deepest foundation, the dam is certainly of a “very large” category, but there is nothing “mega” about he recommendation not to construct the dam at the present site is not consistent with the recommendation of a seismic design parameter of 0.5g followed by another recommendation for construction of a dam of reduced height. Obviously, if the dam is designed to take care of a PGA of 0.5 g (MCE), then EG should have no problem with the safety of dam. EG's real concern seems to be about the geological environment at SLP. The report of EG says so more than once. ——————_—— 27. Similarly, the suggestion not to construct “mega” HPP in the Himalayan foot hills, south of MBT is / arbitrary. Extra large (mega) HPP does not necessarily mean a very high dam. In any case, present state-of-art design and construction enable building safe dams of height greater than 100 min intense seismic environments. The two issues are “Seismic Design Parameter (SDP)” or Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) and foundation competency. The former is reviewed below and the latter in the sections an Geological Aspects and Dam Safety Review. location of its epicentre and its focal depth. EG agrees with IIT-R (as indicated below under the heading IIT-R) that the hypocentre may lie along detachment surface and that the “Magnitude-Down Dip Rupture Width” relationship given by Wells and Coppersmith (1994) (Ref.-25) and the horizontal acceleration attenuation relationship given by Abrahamson and Litehiser (A&L) (1989) (Ref.- 2) also may be used in tandem for calculating the PGA. However the difference of opinion and disagreement between the EG and lIT-R is on the magnitude of EQ and apparently on the positioning of the down dip rupture along the detachment surface. Expert Group 29. The EG has estimated the following PGA values for 8.0 and 8.5 magnitude earthquakes occurring respectively at 6.5 km and 10 km depths along detachment surface, presumably using the A & L attenuation relationship. EQ of 8.0 magnitude at 6.5 km depth: 0.548 EQ of 8.5 magnitude at 6.5 km depth: 0.6178 EQ of 8.0 magnitude at 10.0 km depth: 0.453 EQ of 8.5 magnitude at 10.0 km depth: 0.517 ‘The EG had clarified that the 6.5 km depth was hypothetical and that it ee Kaka that the PGA/ SDP should be more than 0.5g for SLP. Ten et a SLP being in the seismogenic source zones (S52) of the 1897 Great Shillong .7 magnitude | the 1950 Great Assam EQ (Mishmi) of 8.5 magnitude. WT Roorkee (1ITR) | HITR had ed! carried out studies for site specific SDP for SLP (RR-17). Based on regional Seine SE ee retupof the area and pest history of eethauake occurrences thas identified MBT as a potential seismogenic source with 7.5 magnitude EQ at a focal depth of 10 km and with epicentre, probably, also at 10 km, Further, as stated in their Report, using A & L's attenuation relationship, the PGA has been estimated as 0.38g. 31. It appears that IITR invariably uses two equations in tandem to estimate PGA. They are actually regression equations developed from a large set of measured data which incidentally does not contain a single Indian event. ‘The first relationship (Wells & Coppersmith) (Ref.-25) is used to estimate “Down Dip Rupture Width” whose location is then used in the second relationship (A&L) to estimate PGA. There are other formulae. According to IITR, “different formulae provide different ground accelerations and a judicious estimate of ground acceleration is, therefore, required for adoption in any particular situation”. lIT-R also makes it clear that the process is subjective. NHPC asserts that IIT-R has made the correct subjective but judicious estimate of PGA. But, the extent of zone of energy release is unilaterally fixed by Wells & Coppersmith relationship (Ref.-25), yet the actual location of this zone is governed by the epicentre and its focal depth (hypocentre), whose location in turn depends on a judicious decision, nevertheless a subjective decision. The estimate for PGA depends entirely on this subjective decision. IIT-R also says so, but does not give adequately convincing reasons for such selective decision. TR summarily dismisses the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment carried out by Sharma and Mallik (Ref.-21) (see para 40), for the following reasons: i) Not considered the completeness of data in size and time. ii) No de-clustering of the data has been carried out. Iii) i) Data is not even homogenised. TEC feels that the probabilistic assessment cannot be side-stepped. 32, On the basis of widely documented data and without going into the semantics of the definition Of Seismogenic Source Zone (SSZ), TEC contends that the SDP of SLP is not likely to be significantly Hoednnl by either 1897 Great Shillong EQ or 1950 Great Assam EQ, as evidenced by the following facts: ‘The Assam EQ (1950), a strike slip event, occurred at a distance of about 240 km to the northeast at a depth of about 20 km. }¢ 1897 Shillong earthquake and pop-up tectonics event, occurred at a distance of about 330 km fo the southwest at a depth of 20-30 km on a Shillong plateau shield. . Importantly, £G appears to agree, that the SLP can be taken to be iin SSZ of Detachment Surface between HFT and MBT. The SLP 's'5 km to the north of HFT and 9 km to the south of MBT , ; < esign Parameters (NCSDP) haber in hii ing held on 18th Dec 2003, that an EQ of 8.0 magnitude may be considered as one nae source at detachment surface without specifying the depth (RR-22). aaa ie INTR reportedly reworked by assigning magnitude 8.0 at detachment surface at a focal va ; km, which gives the PGA as 0.36g and that is less than the value of 0.38 computed on MBT. ia contended that an EQ of 8.0 M can occur only at epicentral depth greater than 15 km for ea strain energy release, The case was again discussed in the meeting (XIV) held on 29th April 2004 a the Committee approved 0.38 g.as PGA value for SLP (RR-23). 33. The National Committee for Seismic D the “National 34. In India, it is obligatory for all river valley projects to have the SDP approved by Committee on Seismic Design Parameters”, constituted by Gol under the Chairmanship of Member (0&R), CWC. The committee is broadbased with representatives from CWPRS, GSI, NGRI, IMD and DEQ of IIT-R, all well known professional National Institutes. 39 However, TEC Is aware that there is no denying that seismology is not an exact science. Most of ‘ne documentation is from academic investigations indicating, an “evolving” process. There is, therefore, an element of subjectivity, value judgement and personal perception based on researcher's own knowledge and experience. Conclusions from these studies can only be relative and subjective and are more often extended arguments as demonstrated by responses from some experts, whose summary is presented below. Prof. A.S. Arya (2011), Prof. Emeritus, IIT-R 36. Prof, Arya (RR-31) dwells at length on the magnitudes of Mishmi (1950) and Shillong (1897) EQs while advocating that SLP is outside their SSZ. He goes on to suggest an addition of 0.5 to the magnitude of observed EQ to factor in uncertainties but later clarifies that this additionality is meant for Peninsular India, where EQ occurrences have been very few, which is not the case in SSZ of SLP where numerous EQs have already occurred. In such a case, the maximum magnitude of EQ which has occurred is only taken. The magnitude of the 1897 Shillong EQ was revised from 8.7 to 8.0 £0.15 in 2004, 107 years after the event and Kayal still puts it as an 8.0-8.5 magnitude EQ. According to WIHG, “seismicity investigation is fragmentary and instrumental recorded data is scarce in the region”. Prof. Arya, all the same, strongly recompunds 3 Par arose forSte: $$ __ Prof. J.R. Kayal (2011), Emeritus Scientist, CSIR, Ex-DDG, GSI 37. According to Prof. Kayal (RR-32) the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project site is situated in the Himalayan tectonic zone, to the south of MBT and possible large or great earthquake source zones around the site are: one Assam syntaxis source zone (MCE. 8.5-9.0 depth — 20 km) to the northeast at a distance ~ 240 m. - The plane of detachment earthquakes in the HSB to the north of MBT (MCE. 8.0-8.5; depth — 20 km). - The HFT zone (MCE. 8.0-8.5: depth 20-40km in the lower crust) to the south of MBT. The Shillong plateau pop-up tectonic source zone (MCE . 8.0-8.5; depth 20-30km in the lower crust) ‘to the southwest, at a distance — 330km. Be ie soli a we FO coaes Department, IITR is, an authority on evaluating the peak und acceleration (PGA) for seismic design and their estimated PGA based on the upd; knowledge and model may be used. oo ie further recommends that NHPC may run the six station digital network nos eee monitor the seismic activity continuously without any data loss and that the " ie at ‘estimate the hypo-central parameters may be done at the North East Institute Meir Technology (NEIST), Jorhat, Assam, (NHPC have installed this network in ni 20s tee aS Roorkee and data processing of the network is being done by them.) Obviously Prof. Kayal : role out SLP from $S2s of Assam (1950) and Shillong (1897) EQs. By putting Shillong ee .0-8.5, he is also not under-scaling it. While i balaoeaati 7 estimated PGA is based on the updated kno |. He does seismic design of SLP. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) Technical Report (2011): 38. Discussing the seismicity in the Northeast Region, the Report says that the region has a unique seismo-tectonic framework and adds that “the eastern Himalaya and northeastern region is much tess studied than the Nepal and Western Himalaya. The seismicity investigation is fragmentary and instrumental recorded data is scarce with low resolution and hence interpretations tend to be speculative and debatable.” (RR-33) ‘This statement contradicts Prof. Arya’s contention about the abundance of data in respect of SLP, Summarizing the seismic Hazard Assessment by Previous Workers in NE India (1. Khattri and Wyas (1978) (Ref.-13), 2. Khattri et al, (1983) (Ref.- 14), 3. Seber and Armbruster (1981) (Ref.-20), 4. Gowd et al. (1988) (Ref.-5), 5. Kayal et al. (1991) (Ref.-11), 6, Thingbaijam et al. (2007) (Ref.- 22) 7, Rajendran and Rajendran (2011) (Ref.-17)), the Report concludes “The inferences made by these workers imply that the dam site lies in the region of low seismicity and “aseismic corridor”. ee THe Report further suggests that the recurrence interval would be at least 500 years for a large earthquake (e.g. the 2005 Kashmir type) and minimum 1000 years for a great earthquake (>8, e.g. the 2004 Sumatra type). 2 Alpha Geo Report (2012) 39. The objective of the investigation undertaken at the suggestion of EG was to locate HFT more precisely with reference to SLP, but the same does not seem to have been achieved (RR-38). While the investigation proves that SLP is more than 6.2 km south of SLP, bringing the SLP closer to MBT, it did not throw any light on PGA at SLP. ‘Sharma & Malik (2006) (Ref.-21) 40, In the context of the debate over PGA, their paper “Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis and Estimation of Spectral Strong Ground Motion on Bed Rock in North East India” attracts attention. The PGA of about 0.42 g at SLP according to these estimates assumes immense relevance. (see Dr. Gupta’s response) Dr. |.D, Gupta, Director, CWPRS (2012) 41. The response of Dr. Gupta (RR-40) is summarized as follows: a) The design spectrum and the accelerograms provided in the report of lITR are based on the ‘deterministic approach, assuming various possible combinations of earthquake magnitude (MCE) and distances, which may be expected in the region b) The report by WIHG, Dehradun has made an extensive literature mae about the paleo seismicity and the possible recurrence intervals, for very large magnitude oe : ne magnitude 8 in the region. But the report remains without any definite pie si ee possible location of a future 8 magnitude EQ, In fact, itis very difficult to fix the — . depth of a future 8+ magnitude EQ with respect to the location of the project. In su ee 5 the probabilistic hazard analysis approach may perhaps obviate the need for a rapes a definition of the earthquake location and magnitude (and that is what seemingly Sharma [Ref.-21) have done.) Shor niaseerare response spectra of lITR as approved by NCSDP and those worked out by CWPRS for other projects in Himalayas (Fig. 2). They indicate that spectra from both deterministic and probabilistic approaches are in line with the recently decided guidelines Be d) Also, the target spectra for SLP envelope the target spectra for other projects except. Debang in period range of about 0.05 to 0.2 s. The spectra adopted for SLP may therefore be checked for the period range of these 2 projects. NHPC has to attend to this study. e) The PGA proposed in the report of IITR, is lower than that for most of the other project sites listed inthe Table 5 below, because it represents the median peak acceleration, whereas in other cases it represents median plus one standard deviation value. This is not considered to be critical as far as the dynamic response analysis of the dam is concerned, but it is important for the of consistency. Seemingly Dr, Gupta also considers that PGA of 0.38 gis low for SLP. TEC Views 42. To sum up, the above review throws up the uncertainty and unpredictability of ways for ime: determining seismic coefficient for EQs. While 0.38 g recommended by lITR might be based on es judiciously selected data, though subjective, EG recommended PGA value of 0.5 g cannot be side- ‘stepped unless so proven by scientific assessment, in the overall context of the various responses from experts. 43, Notwithstanding the professional competency of NCSOP, TEC is acutely aware that the debate on ‘the source and magnitude of an EQ that could affect SLP is likely to continue quite some time. Even ICOLD guidelines are not specific. There is ambivalence in reference to risk and hazard evaluation. There is also a public perception: “Based on recent geodetic data, Bilham et al (2001) argued that any segment of the Himalaya is presently ready for generating a great earthquake (Kayal 2010) (Ref.- 4, 12).” TEC, therefore, considers it prudent to study the behaviour of SLP dam under PGA of OS¢ (MCE) which will enable an informed appreciation on the design of dam as further discussed in Section-Ill (refer para 74), {tis imprudent to consider PGA as a single entity that determines the aseismic design. With it, must bbe considered the Response Spectra, the Spectral Amplification Factor, the damping ratio, the structure / foundation composite behavior, their dynamic properties. Above all, the size and shape of the dam structure is all important. Dynamic analysis helps in better appreciation of the Suitability of the design. The decisions will of course depend on the interpretations of the results based on the assumptions. Landslides ‘44. The EG provided in its report, a look at the 1950 Great Assam EQ.with M =8.5 related landslide, ‘the 3 days long artificial dam caused by the slided land-mass leading to the formation of an artificial dam in Subansiri basin near the confluence of Sipu Nadi and Subansiri River in the u/s of SLP site, 7 . . 3 its eventual break and the flood / release of debris bringing saarase tots 06 Sea th ae expressed concern about possibility of similar a oe iad ct Pe ae depth. In 1897, another large EQ with M = 8. occu . shel wacliial if any such major landslides were triggered then with inputs from agencies Whe M/s Mapsets, if necessary, on lines of their work for 1950 landslide. moisture regime would change yearly with filling / depletion of reservoir past-SLP, besides Se pacnoae including road development activity etc, the frequency of land-slides could grow. TEC had pointed out that NHPC had studied in Dibang basin close by various aspects oF landslides u/s. NHPC was therefore asked by TEC to carry aut similar work for existing scars. noted the detailed study mounted by NHPC needs to be backed by ground-truthing and sought an_ advance programme for possible stabilisation, TEC envisaged SLP’s vulnerability in following respects: i) formation of an artificial dam in u/s, its breach causing a sort of dam-break flood affecting SLP, ii) silting up of SLP reservoir and iii) overtopping of SLP. These aspects are discussed in Section-tit Dam Design Review (Para 100-101). TEC had asked NHPC to get in touch with suitable agencies who could determine from landsat pl J imageries present status of scar of 1950 EQ that had caused the artificial dam about 1.75 km /s of Sipu confluence with Subansiri which, 7.0 km u/s of SLP site whereas tip of the reservoir is at 50.0 km u/s of SLP. M/s Mapsets Engineering Services, Delhi was identified for this purpose who were asked to develop contour plans on 1:5000 scale of the scar area and attend to following tasks: |) try to estimate quantity of land-slide/s that time, ii) carry out lithology and structural rating of rock ‘mass of the area, iil) study slope morphology, iv) relief assessment, v} attempt hazard ranking from very low to very high to identify potential incipient nature. A report of work done is received in mid-] May 2012 (RR-43). The agency has identified a large and a smaller landslide on right /left bank respectively. Mass of the slide is primarily assessed at 19 and 10 MCM respectively. NHPC has been advised to go over this estimate with the Agency and project for future probable occurrence of a land-stide of similar dimensions 8. Geological Aspects 47. The concerns of the EG are equally divided between seismology and geology, perhaps more about the latter. As already discussed under seismological aspects, regional geology and tectonics do not really dictate the size of a Hydro-electric Project in the Himalayas. The height of the Oam, and more importantly, its type - concrete or embankment, are governed by site specific conditions. 48. While availabilty of competent rock at a reasonable depth is essential for a gravity (co! nerete) dam, embankment dams are more flexible on this count, more so with the advancement in the ‘design and construction of Concrete Faced Rock-fill Dams (CFRD). 49. EG considered the depth of foundation relative to the height of SLP dam as insufficient. That made it look like that Geology would not have been a concern for EG, if the depth of excavation had is not related ta height of dam, only the competency of the foundation. It is also hot correct to generalize that Himalayan foothills are not Suitable to construct a dam. However, foundation depth really is not the EG's concern. itis the geology of the dam foundation and the river bank along the reservoir periphery that bothers the EG as cited below. Though the engineering structures can lithology will not. Consequent! Lower Subansiri Dam Projects be designed to withstand even a PGA value of 0.5 g, the ly, there exists extreme vulnerability of the mega structures tke the ited sandstones, even if the "hs the lithology of the foundation is composed of poorly cemen (construction) dam can withstand long duration severe shaking during major earthquake, the rocks probably will not.” . "The geological disposition — near the foothills, poorly cemented sandstones on which a cate seated, the foot-hill thrust (FHT) with clear evidences of shear-planes near the dam site, al re that the area is not a stable site to resist destruction even if we consider a PGA value of 0.38g. designed structure may withstand sueh a PGA value but the surrounding ground will certainly not. 50. In fact, EG is only echoing the views of GSI as stated in their letter No. 839/DPR/GSI/ND/2001 dt. 17.10.2001 and reproduced below. ....in normal case this site is not suitable for a 133m high concrete dam. Therefore, it is suggested that feasibility of the concrete dam at present site with proposed design innovations be established before proceeding further.” 51. CWC’s views at the time of Technical Examination are also relevant. “The engineering properties of the foundation are very low and foundation rock loses its strength ‘on saturation.” “It may be desirable to identify a better and suitable site from foundation considerations.” (Also see Para 77.) Engineering Properties- A review 52. The foundation rock has been investigated by various National Laboratories over many years to assess its competency: CWPRS, 1981 (RR- 2) . NEHARI, 1998-2000 (RR-5) CSMRS, 2001 (RR-8,9,10,11,13,14,15) MIT, Delhi, 2001 (RR-12) CMRI/ CIMFR, 2003 & 2008 (RR-21, 25,26) While euphemistically calling it sandstone, the Report of CMRI (RR-21, 25 & 26) repeatedly labels the foundation rock as ‘weak’. The Report gives the uniaxial compressive strength of the rock as 25.85MPa in dry and 7.11MPa in saturated condition. The tests are reported to have been Conducted on samples prepared from cores recavered from drill holes, aven dried for dry testing and kept in water for 24 hrs for saturation testing. It is not clear how Saturation was achieved, as the rock reportedly slakes in water. In any case, even the compressive strength in dry (25.85MPa) is not all that high for foundation rock. The CMRI computes the ultimate Bearing Capacity as 6.3MPa besides giving an alternate value of 7-11MPa, same as the uniaxial compressive strength of saturated samples. The Report goes on to recommend a factor of safety of 2 and concludes that the allowable pressure is more than the estimated stress level at the dam site, a totally unsolicited Opinion. is 53, The results of Plate Load Tests are also not encouraging besides lackingclarity. er bal of reasonable consistency in the load-deformation curves. The averaging may, oe aie entirely correct. The Elastic Modulus (2.3GPa) could be less than the recomme: 7 any case, ts already very low. The other discordant remarks in the Report are: "For design evaluation parameters should be considered by engineering judgment.” (See Executive Summary). - “The variability in sandstone rock mass may be considered for judicial selection of design parameters based on engineering judgment.” (See Para 4 of conclusions.) have ‘The above remarks are vague and lower the confidence level further. The Report should discussed the geotechnical aspects of the rock mass that affect the design parameters to facilitate engineering judgment. Even if the anomalies in the Report are ignored, the compressive strength (7-11MPa) and bearing capacity (6.3MPa) are respectively about 35% & 30% of the strength of M20 and about 50% & 40% of M15 concrete used in the dam. The Elastic Modulus (2.3GPa) is just 11% of the concrete. 54. The physical properties of the rock e.g. density, permeability, etc. are also not encouraging. Sand-stone with a high primary porosity that is not easily reduced by grouting etc is a special feature of SLP. Secondary permeability of rock-mass is related to discontinuities like joints and their characteristics which often can be remedied by grouting. The difference in dry density (2.3 g/cc) and wet density (2.4 g/cc) make the impermeability of rock suspect. It amounts to 10% voids. Even otherwise density is on the lower side. According to Manual index (1S:1131, Part-5) and Engineering Properties (1S:1123), classification of SLP foundation rock may put it nearer to “very weak” category and not even “weak” category (Ref.- 7, 8). It is practically free-draining. Water poured on one side of a sample, finds its way to the other in no time. Rock samples when tested for petrography showed that binding matrix was argillaceous and not calcareous and as such would not contribute to strength (RR-34). . 55. An independent review by Dr. V.M. Sharma, an Expert in Rock Mechanics and former Director of CSMRS, of tests carried out on SLP Dam foundation rock mass over two decades, including the latest (2008) by CMRI/ CIMFR, confirms that the foundation rock at SLP is weak (RR-42). After bringing out the anomalies in the Reports of CMRI, Dr. Sharma assesses the compressive strength (dry) and Compressive strength (saturated) as 17.64MPa and 4.37MPa respectively. The latter is the same as that obtained and reported by CMRI after “testing 19 samples from dam area in saturated condition”. Simitarly the Modulus of Deformation (1.12GPa) and Modulus of Elasticity (1 52GPa) as assessed by Dr. Sharma are alsa much smaller than those recommended by CMRI 56. The above assessment of the foundation rack leads to some concern about the stability of SLP| Dam as planned and as under construction. This aspect is discussed in Section-ill: Dam Design Review (see paragraphs 77, 78). C. Hydrological Aspects 57. Concerns of Hydrological aspects ar flood is Probable Maximum. Flood (Pm conventional approaches Deterministic approach using Unit Graph Analysis Statistical approach using Frequency Analysis © centred around design flood. In the case of SLP, the design F). NHPC has estimated the PMF in 2001 by using both the 16 58. Hydromet data like SPS, PMP, Rainfall duration and its time distribution, ete. have been obtained from [MD and ITM who are official custadians of the data, 59, Unit Graph analysis itself has been carried out using two methods: Dividing the catchment into 3 sub-catchments followed by integrated flood routing. Assuming the entire catchment as a single unit Available G&D data has been used to derive the unit hydrograph and the flood hydrograph for SPF and PMF. 60.1n the statistical approach, flood peaks are obtained from observed daily discharges at Gerukamukh & Chouldhowaghat observed by Brahmaputra Board & CWC. Flood frequency analysis was performed using the following data sets : ‘Annual Observed Peak flow series at Gerukamukh (1973-98) 25% Increased Peak flow series at Gerukarmukh (1973-98) _ Annual Observed Peak flow series at Chouldhowaghat (1956-97) 61. The PMF (37500 cumecs) as design flood used in SLP appears to be in order and the same has been approved by CWC (2002) (RR-20) with the comments “NHPC would redo the design flood calculations by Two Bells theory.......cost”. That this has not been done is not important as NHPC had decided to design the spillway for higher flood, notwithstanding the higher cost. From consideration of spillway capacity for safety of dam, the higher PMF as adopted by NHPC is in order. 62. EG has referred to an observed flow of 21,230 cumecs on July 11, 1971 at the dam site (GSI 1977). In the absence of details of its source and authentication, it may not be in order to give any attention to this figure. EG Report also refers to the maximum discharge in 1972 as 18,790 cumecs, which is the same as recorded at Chowldhawaghat by CWC/ NHPC. In any case, the design flood (PME) is almost, double of the observed Maximum Flood. 63. Frequency analysis carried out by NHPC gives a 10,000 year return flood as about 31000 cumecs (Mean line) which is also less than PMF 64, There is no need for any concern about the adequacy of design flood used for dimensioning the spillway of SLP. D. Impacts on Downstream 65. It may be recalled that the EG was constituted in May 2008 to evaluate d/s impacts of SLP. Its ToR comprised i) assessment of impacts on environment, ii) likely spread of their distribution pattern, iii) management plans for direct impact zones, iv) development plans for affected people / villages, and v) developing deliberative mechanisms to minimise impacts. Actually, a large part of the EG report dwelt on subjects of tectonics, seismicity, and geologic set up at the site and the EG has made little effort to estimate possible environmental impacts due to SLP on d/s area, before / after, and with / without the SLP, as necessary for such assessments. 56, The EG has however, referred to a wide range of problems in the Subansiri Basin on the downstream of SLP and has made a large number of recommendations to ameliorate those Problems. A review of the recommendations shows that all the problems are not due to impacts related to the construction of SLP, Some exist even today. 7 to 67. The recommendations af the EG could be divided into two groups, so that it oe e identify not only the actions to be taken but also the authorities responsible to tal - a Recommendations in respect of problems d/s not related to SLP . SLP related impacts II undisputedly essential The following recommendations, though not related to SLP, are al ea of any flood-prone area, especially a chronically flood-prone nee ~ ene where they have to be implemented, SLP of no SLP. Action ought to be taken on each, yet started. a) |) Raising and strengthening of embankments i) Construction of flood shelters iil) Setting up a Disaster Management Cell iv) Installation of Warning System v) Developing Irrigation vi) Developing Health and Education System vii) Alternate development activities Ma Creating, improving and augmenting transport, communication and marketing networks and developing feeder roads to form an essential part of this activity. ix) Training local people in fish culture x) Restoring ecosystems like bird and animal habitats, plantation of trees, etc. xi) Controlling human activities along migrating routes of Asiatic Elephants All these activities fall in the domain of the state government. GoA can of course seek Go's help and assistance, technical (Institutional) and monetary. It is not reasonable to expect SLP to implement the above recommendations on its own as they are not related to impacts of SLP. b) Hydrological Monitoring and effective Flood Forecasting: CWC is already doing this, for over SO years and can further augment its well established system in the North - East. Accurate real time flood forecasts will go a long way to give early warnings of floods, More Self Recording Rain Gauges. (SRRG) with auto- transmission capability in the catchment together with strategic gauging stations along the river and at reservoirs would enhance the capability for accurate real time forecasts. Real time rainfall related forecasts constitute the key to successful reservoir operations for flood control. ¢) Greening to Control Erosion: Ministry of Agriculture (Gol) funds soil conservation programs in river basins all over the country through respective state governments. The mechanism can be appropriately used for Subansiri catchment treatment by GoArP, 4} Monitoring River Morphology through Remote Sensing: Brahmaputra Board is, perhaps, the right agency to do this. It may be doing it already. All the above recommendations need necessarily to be acted upon. 69. It is important to choose the right agency for the right work. It is for GoA / GoArP where applicable to pursue, if they are not already doing so, as the recommendations concern basic developmental activities in @ less developed non-industrial riverine environment of Subansiri. Most importanthy, it is to be realized and recognized that these recommendations have nothing to do with downstream effects of SLP and would have been implemented sooner than later by them, even if SLP were not to be built. TEC feels that SLP has just been used as a means to articulate the above demands as grievances, 70, Recommendations of EG in respect of SLP related a) d/s impacts, and b) other reiterated concerns are now listed and line of action indicated. a) Down-stream Impacts: |) Dredging of river bed to maintain its original level li) Providing flood storage (in the dam) to minimize floods d/s {il) Minimising utilization of river water iv) Maintaining minimum (enone flows i v) Independent (integrated) control of reservoir operations ws Nectralzing the regatve impacts cn the ellie of local poplaton deta ipacton Hear related resources vil) Preventive measures against vector borne diseases vili) Preservation of Dolphin habitats ix) Establishing eco-hatcheries and taking measures to conserve migratory species of fish x) Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for dam break cantingency Some of these recommendations are complex. The remedial measures for the impacts are, therefore covered separately in Section-IV: Downstream Impacts. b) Other reiterated concerns of the EG Planning Commission vide letter dt. 08.05.2012 informed that GoA has approached PMO to request TEC to interact with local experts from Assam, before finalizing their report on its SLP assignment. Planning Commission accordingly asked TEC to take steps and requested GoA / Experts to send their views, beyond those included in EG report, which had been already considered by TEC. Two submissions were received and considered by TEC, Main issues brought up by them (EIA, Seismicity, Foundation Depth, Stability Analysis, satisfying the conditional clearance of SLP etc) are covered in appropriate paragraphs of TEC Report. i ‘SECTION — I Dam Design Review 71. The review covers the following aspects of dam design, A. Hydraulic Design: Spillway Capacity B. Structural Design: Stress Analysis C. Foundation Competency D. Energy Dissipation Arrangement (EDA) E. Impact of Landslides along reservoir periphery F. Dam Design Review Panel (DDRP) The Techno-economic Clearance of SLP was conditional as usual, NHPC has not been able to show to TEC how the different conditions were met with, CEA /CWC also could not provide details. It is necessary that they carry out this exercise in association with NHPC, The following review refers to these conditions wherever necessary. A Spillway Capacity The complexity of the sections notwithstanding, NHPC may undertake ocdtentey yl wv i spillway and NOF blocks deploying time history method in consultation wit! ciel Wenge mere higher PGA does not call for a totally different dam c/s. The presently ne sections are in fact best suited for seismic conditions and need no modifications except mentioned earlier. C. Foundation Competency /eak Foundation Rock: This is by far the most important and critical aspect of SLP dam design teloorns sono eee of the project location. The background to SLP planning is replete with references to the weak foundation. The earliest of them is an inspection report (Raju and : Sharma, CWC, 1979) (Ref.-18). At the time of Technical Examination, CWC had eens Planning Commission clearance of SLP is subject to CWC being satisfied in this regard. There nothing on record either in NHPC or elsewhere to demonstrate when and how who took the decision on the type of dam and foundation treatment to the satisfaction of CWC, who had made explicit comments on the foundation and its suitability to support the proposed concrete dam (see Para 51). The following striking features draw attention and focus to doubts about the competency of the foundation. 78, Physical and Mechanical Properties of the Rock: It is a prerequisite condition that these properties of foundation rock are as good as, if not better than, those of the concrete in the dam. It is, therefore, almost axiomatic that gravity dams shall have fresh hard rock as foundation. The weaknesses in such foundation are generally due to characteristics of the joints, shear zones and such other infirmities, which are taken care of by grouting and localized treatment. Likely seepage through the foundation is reduced to an acceptable level by a grout curtain and a drainage curtain. Blanket grouting is carried out both for seepage control and maximum possible improvement in rock-mass properties to support loading from the dam. The foundation rock in SLP does not conform to the generally accepted standards of a concrete dam foundation as brought out under geological aspects. The following two design innovations proposed by NHPC to augment its competency are reviewed below. 79. Concrete Diaphragm Cutoff: This unusual provision below the SLP dam highlights the above aspects of @ weak foundation. A competent foundation would not need a concrete cutoff, Conversely, the diaphragm is indicativeof a foundation not likely to offer adequate capacity to improved seepage control through other means. It reminds one of barrages on permeable foundations and concrete diaphragms under embankment dams, especially, of late under CFRDs, 80. Base Width of Dam: At 1.5 times the height of dam, the unusually large base width is apparently required to take care of the high design seismic parameters. It is equally apparent that it Is required to reduce the pressures transmitted to the foundation. 81. The concrete diaphragm and the extra-large base width are design innovations. The question whether these innovations by themselves are good enough to increase the competency of the Foundation and to ensure the safety of dam has not been answered satisfactorily by NHPC. The rock has low density, very low compressive strength, low deformation modulus and low elastic modulus, besides being porous with potential to slake in water and losing strength when saturated, These Poor characteristics, by themselves, do not preclude a gravity dam if duly validated by FEM 19 72. The 20 sectional model studies conducted in ene ies oe a delay awe : suggested and adopted by NHPC was adequate. CWPRS, ea aaea ie the low level sluices, 9 in numbers, can discharge 37,300 cumecs saad reservoir at FRL 205.0 m and 38,500 cumecs at MWL 208.25 m. The sluices a eel aoe * pMF (37,500 cumecs) without the Reservoir level exceeding MWL even if the baa with one of the sluices being inoperative. Since the reservoir level would be rosa oa £1,190/E1.181 during most of the monsoon (flood) period, the routed outflow would never 30,000 cumecs. The spillway capacity is, therefore, adequate to pass PMF. B. Structural Design f Juice Blocks are the tallest with a height of 123 m above the deepest foundation and the Nor oinie Blocks are 90 m high. For a concrete gravity dam, both the Sluice and the NOF Blocks have unconventional cross-sections. The slopes and a large base width of 1.35 times the height are non-typical for a gravity dam and have obviously been dictated by concerns for the a stability of dam under high seismic design parameter (SDP) and in addition perhaps by the quality foundation rock. 74. internal stresses in the body of a hypothetical 123 m high Non-overflow: (NOF) Block have been evaluated by NHPC by Simplified Earthquake Analysis (A.K. Chopra} and the dam found safe. The same analysis is supposed to hold good for all the blocks, both overflow and non-overflow lengths. The analysis has been carried out for peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 0.19 g (DBE) corresponding to 0.38 g MCE which has been recommended by NCSOP. ARter a review of from some experts (Para 31 to 43 ante). TEC feels that a PGA of 0.5 g (MCE) and 0.25 g (DBE) could be considered in the a-seismic design of Dam. Compressive stresses seldom exceed compressive strength of concrete. The problem is with the tensile stresses on the u/s face of dam. However, higher tensile stresses, upto 1.5 times the normal tensile strength may be allowed under seismic conditions (DBE). American Concrete Institute (ACI) recommends a normal tensile strength of 0.6 fea : i 75. In the case of non-overflow blocks, Chopra’s Simplified EQ Analyses give the maximum tensile stress of 3.55 MPa at about E! 193m 4 on the u/s face of 90 m high block and 2.61 Mpa at El 196 m (+) in 70 m high block for DBE condition of 0.25 g PGA with 5% damping and wave reflection coefficient of 0.5. The NOF blocks have been provided both in u/s and d/s, 3.0 m thick M-20 grade concrete, which has a compressive strength of 20 MPa, a static tensile strength of 2.7 MPa (0.6 fc1/2) and seismic tensile strength of 4.0 MPa. There is, therefore, no danger to the safety of NOF dam structure even for PGA of 0.5g (MCE). However, as a measure of abundant precaution, the 3.0 m thick upstream concrete grade may be considered for increase to M-25 up-to El 185.00 m and to M-30 between El 185,00 and El 200.00 m. 76. The Spillway Sluice Blocks are not easily amenable to dynamic analysis, either by simplified method (Chopra’s) or by rigorous FEM analysis because of their geometry. Too many assumptions will only distort the results, which may not have any practical value. The Response Spectrum. Method recommended by BIS has, therefore, been used to evaluate the stresses in the body of the sluice blocks taking the full block as a unit instead of idealizing it into 1 m wide strips. The vertical tensile stresses do not exceed 0.5 MPa under the worst loading condition. ‘The Sluice Blocks are highly reinforced from El. 135 upwards on the upstream and from EL. 120,00 m Upwards on the downstream, besides 3 m thick concrete as mentioned in Para 75. There should therefore be no apprehensions about the stability of the Sluice Blocks as well even with 0.25 g (DBE) Corresponding to 0.5 g (MCE) as SDP. analysis, as opined by Shri S.L. Mokhashi, an eminent geotechnical engineer and formerly ee : CWPRS. However, there are other aggravating features of the spillway dam described below whic have to be taken care of. D. Energy Dissipation Arrangement (EDA) 82. The design provides for a flip bucket as per IS: 7365:1985 ( Ref.-9) and a preformed pt = This kind of plunge pool is generally the last resort, when conventional stilling basin or roller bucke becomes impractical or prohibitively expensive because of the need for deep excavation due to inadequate tail-water depth, very thick concrete aprons and retaining walls due to geological fas conditions. A good geological setup with a high enough Rock Quality Designation (RQD) value of roc in the plunge pool area is also a prerequisite for a flip bucket arrangement. However, the geology in SLP plunge pool area does not boast of particularly competent rock formations to withstand the dynamic forces that the plunge pool will be subjected to. 83. The “pre-formed” plunge pool under construction was tested in CWPRS, but was found not realistically modeled. There is no theoretical design for sizing a plunge pool. The dimensioning is empirical based on internationally collected data and recommendations derived there from. In the test model, the plunge pool bottom and size were kept at the minimum of the recommended range. The rigid bed reproduced in the hydraulic model did not reflect the rock conditions correctly. The layout, depth and dimensions with pool bed at El 72 m as suggested by empirical methods were simulated in the 3D composite model for study of plunge-pool performance and intensity of turbulence (2004-2010). The study more or less confirmed the flip throw distance estimated as per IS and hence CWPRS confirmed the dimensions of the pre-formed plunge-pool as proposed by NHPC. It did not try erodible bed in the model to assess likely depth and shape of the scour hole which needed to be provided as protection in a pre-formed plunge pool. During construction, the dimensions were however reduced / modified at site to suit local topography / construction convenience on river banks, apparently without consulting CWPRS. 84. TEC visited the 3D model in CWPRS in end Nov 2011, soon after its visit to SLP site. CWPRS had earlier voiced the concern about turbulence in its report and recommended training of river banks square to spillway orientation to the end of turbulence zone. As 2D model was not available and as its installation would require more time, TEC observed 3D model runs and noted that plunge- pool dimensions adopted at dam site were restricted and smaller than used in model and recommended by CWPRS earlier. It noticed severe turbulence d/s of flip bucket due to violently fluctuating rooster tail formed in the entire spillway length, due to abruptly square ease-waters and termination of divide walls close to flip sill, causing heavy interaction between issuing flow-lines from each gate. Impact of the turbulence in particular on both the banks of the pre-formed plunge- pool seen in the model was of great concern. It looked potentially capable of carving out steep bank slopes destabilising them and forming a larger and deeper scour-hole than that adopted at site, with bottom at El 72 m. TEC referred in this connection to several case studies of ski : -jump spillways in India, where larger than envisaged scour holes d/s had developed, e.g. Ukai da m in Gujarat, 85. The model also displayed return flow near bank which needed to be removed by stream-linin deepen the scour hole if the mode! reproduc unremedied, TEC felt that Safety of the cladd could cut backwards towards the dam, while So far were therefore considered incomplete. S due to jutting out hammock shaped hillocks, 8 rock slopes. TEC felt that the turbulence would ed an erodible bed. If these concerns were left ing in the pool could be jeopardised and scour hole affecting hill slopes on either bank. The model studies Besides trials with erodible bed, tapering / extending divide walls for further trials was suggested, to subdue the turbulence to a lowered level. Based on further testing/ studies CWPRS recommended (end March 2012 report) modification in plunge-pool sizing, and alternative deeper floor at E159 and 54 m to make it safer and workable, in place of earlier recommendation at El 72 m, lengthening of divide walls and tapering of piers (RR- 39). 86. The ski jump / plunge pool arrangement heightens the concerns expressed by TEC in paragraphs 77-81 for the safety of dam. The current studies (CWPRS - Report 7th March 2012) (RR-39) show the bottom of plunge pool at E! 54.0 m over the entire width covering spillway blocks $1 to $9, while the foundation levels of Blocks $4 to $7 are at El 87.0 m, those of Blocks $1, $2 & S9 at E1120.0m and of $3 and $8 vary from El 87.0 m to El 120.0 m. That means that the deepest foundation (Dam Seat) at El 87.00 m will be 33 m above the scour pit and the highest foundation at El 120 m will be 66.00 m above the scour pit created by the ski-jump (Figure 3A & 3B). The spillway blocks will be literally perched at the edge of a ledge over-looking the scour pit which can endanger the dam foundation because of a combination of inherent weakness, saturation and seismic activity. Such apprehension was expressed by EG too. All the spillway blocks have by now been raised much above their foundation level as follows: . Blocks $1, S2 & $3 : E1138.0 m . Block $4: £1127.5m . Blocks S5 to S8 : El 119.0 m (+) . Block S-9 : E1123.0m In a conventional sense, the dam has, therefore, to be designed as a cantilever with base at EL 55.0 m. The unconventional part is that the cantilever is made up of weak sand rock up to El 87.00 / El 120.00 m, above which it is concrete as shown in Fig. 3A & 3B. TEC considers the ski-jump-plunge pool EDA is based on subjective engineering judgment. The geology is clearly contra-indicative. 87. The economy of a pre-formed plunge pool is based on dis-allowing the unregulated / | unpredictable formation of a scour pit on its own jeopardising dam Stability. Its excavation to a predetermined size and its protection no doubt adds to the cost. But the cost is worth it. Sometimes the extensive protection provided by means of concrete cladding, rock anchors, cable anchors, etc. for the pre-formed plunge-pool as proposed in SLP, becomes exorbitant. This is apparent in case of the revised plunge pool bed level currently advocated by CWPRS. NHPC cannot possibly think of excavating the plunge pool up to El 54.00 m. With their strong apprehensions about destabilization of sides, even if excavation is limited to EL 85.00 m which is the required apron level for stilling basin, preforming the plunge pool to El 54.00 mas recommended by CWPRS in their revised report (March 2012) (RR-39) may be practically unviable. Further, even in case of the shortened and isolated pre-formed plunge pool under construction, the d/s coffer dam may have to be dismantled / remodelled . 88. pool type of EDA, keeping in view the geological set-u construction. An alternative that suggests itself is hydraulic jump type Stilling Basin, which may seem apparently costlier than a ski-jump with self formed (natural) plunge pool but not a preformed plunge-pool. The excess cost is on account of excavation needed to increase the tail water depth concrete apron and the retaining walls. Another alternative is a 3-part spillway with a central : basin and chutes on either flank with terminal ski-jump buckets (see para 91 & 92) p at the dam site and the present status of stilling 89. The structural treatment envisa : ged earlier by NHPC for plunge ! stilling basin floor and sides too. Re ee ee taining walls, 5m thick concrete apron, etc. may not be