Life span of Umïam dam will end in 2024: Assembly Committee

Shillong, July 18: The Umïam dam, which is the main reservoir that generates electricity in Meghalaya, will have a life only till 2024 instead of 2065 due to heavy siltation.

This was found by an Assembly Committee on environment after its members inspected the dam on Thursday as pollution and siltation posed threat to the life of the dam. The Assembly Committee is headed by Independent ML, S.K. Sun.

Infact the life of the dam was estimated to be 100 years upto 2065, but due to heavy siltation, the dam’s life will be reduced by 41 years and will end in 2024. Construction of the Umïam dam was completed in 1965.

According to a revelation by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) to legislators who are members of the Assembly Committee on environment, the life of the Umïam dam will expire by 2024.

Studies related to assessment of siltation of the Umïam dam was conducted in 1990 by M/s Water and Power Consultancy Services (Wapcos) and by M/s Tojo Vikas International Private Limited New Delhi in 2004.

“The life span of the dam was designed for 100 years, but the MeECL officials told the Committee that the life of the dam will end by 2024,” Sun said. Sun urged the public to take care of the dam especially the two rivers – Umkhrah and Umshyrpi in Shillong city by not throwing waste indiscriminately.

Member of the Committee, H.M. Shangpliang said that the government has to take strong measures and ensure that wastes should not flow down to the dam.

“It is alarming that the life span of the dam is ending by 2024. What will happen after that? Therefore all stakeholders should be concerned and put our heads together in saving this dam,” Shangpliang.