Sharavathi Pumped Storage Project | Habitat Loss
The Sharavathi wildlife sanctuary, located in the Shivamogga & Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, is a pristine forest that spans over 431.23 km. The Sharavathi river and valley play a crucial role in providing economic and ecological security to the people of Karnataka. The famous Jog falls and the Linganmakki dam are located on this river. In addition to this, Pristine Core forest can be seen in this sanctuary.
Local people live in the sanctuary area and farming activities also take place in the forest. The Save Western Ghat movement is active in this area with localities already being sensitized. Several years back, the Appiko Movement also took place in this region. One of the leading personalities in this region is Pandurang Hegde.
Currently, a serious cause of concern is that this forest is showing signs of shifting. Rainfall is decreasing in this area and the population of dry deciduous trees and trees which require less water are increasing day by day worrying the locals.
The current government in the state has proposed to build a 2,000-MW Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in the Sharavathi Valley. The proposed project has been planned between the existing Talakalale and Gerusoppa reservoirs which are situated downstream of Linganmakki reservoir on Sharavathi river. The reservoir formed by the Linganmakki dam across the river Sharavathi is the key to the optimum development of water resources of the river comprising regulating dams, diversion structures and associated 4 power stations.
The existing Talakalale dam which is 62.48 m high, was commissioned in 1963 and acts as a balancing reservoir for the existing Sharavathi H.E. project. This is proposed to be the upper reservoir of the Pumped Storage scheme. The proposed pumped storage installation does not envisage any modification in the existing operating levels of the reservoir. In addition,
the proposed intake of the pumped storage project is located at a separate location, away
from the intake of the existing Sharavathi H.E. project.
The existing Gerusoppa dam which is a 64 m high composite dam (Gravity and earthen) was commissioned in 2001. This is proposed to be the lower reservoir of the Pumped Storage scheme. The proposed Pumped Storage installation does not envisage any modifications in the existing operating levels of the reservoir.
Sharavathi Pumped Storage Project involves minimum civil works and could be completed in 5 years. The project would afford a design energy generation of 4380 GWh. The cost per MW installed works out to be Rs. 2.50 Crores. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs.4862.89 Crores at April 2017 price levels.
As per the MOEFCC Report, 150 hectares of forest land will be impacted by this project. There shall be no additional submergence due to the proposed project and only the water conductor system to convey water from Upper Reservoir to powerhouse and from powerhouse to Lower Reservoir and back to Upper Reservoir will be commissioned. The construction site shall be suitably levelled, depressions will be backfilled and suitably compacted. The construction of the proposed project, including its various appurtenances e.g. powerhouse, approach roads, labour camps etc. would marginally affect the topography and physiography. The breakup of land requirement is as given below:
Project - 98 ha, Road - 30 ha, Muck Disposal/ Quarry Site -15 ha, Contractor’s facilities – 10 ha, Total-153 ha. No major impacts due to land acquisition are anticipated as both Upper (Talakalale) Reservoir and Lower (Gerusoppa) reservoirs are already constructed.