Originating near Thuamul-Rampur, the river Indravati makes its winding course through dense forests and sunkissed valleys till she halts at Khatiguda, 20 km from Nowrangpur, to form a reservoir in the hands of modern sculptors. The vast blue expanse guarded by green capped soaring hills makes this lake a delightful sight – a lifetime memory.
The Upper Indravati Project envisages diversion of water , of the indravati river in its upper reaches into the Mahanadi valley for power generation and irrigation. The project would involve construction of 4 dams across the Indravati and its tributaries 8 dykes and two inter-linking channels to from a single reservoir with a live capacity of 1435.5 Mcum, 4.32 km. tunnel, a power house with installation of 4 units of 150 MW each , 9 km. tail race channel and an irrigation barrage across Hati river with the associated irrigation canals.
Upper Indravati Hydro Electric Project has gone fully operation with the commissioning of Unit No.IV of the 600 MW (150 x 4) Hydro Power Project. Undeterred by the tunnel tragedy in 1991 and the World Bank’s unexpected withdrawal from its financial commitment, odisha Hydro Power Corporation took it over in 1996 and proceeded to complete the project against all odds. It had to access Rs.320 crores assistance from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and raise funds from all possible internal sources to complete this project. The commissioning of Unit No. IV of Upper Indravati Hydro Electric Project has added one more feature to OHPC’s cap. Envisaged in 1978 with an estimated investment of Rs.208.15 crores, the project cost has gone up during the past 23 years. Despite the cost escalating to Rs.1107 crores due to the delay in completion, the project enjoys the advantages of having less than Rs.2 crores investment per MW installation. Besides, Indravati provides one of the cheapest and most environment friendly power among the present generation of power projects i.e. 64.96 paise per KWH. Though project work started way back in 1978, it gained momentum only after OHPC took over. While the first two units of the hydro project were commissioned in 1999, the third unit and fourth went operational during the year 2000 and 2001.
Started with World Bank assistance, Upper Indravati Project is considered one of the largest multi-purpose projects in India. Situated in drought prone districts of Kalahandi and Nawarangpur in odisha, the project also envisages transbasin diversion of water of river Indravati (Godavari basin) to river Hati (Mahanadi basin). The project provides irrigation to more than one lakh hectres of land.
On being fully commissioned, it now, is not only one of the largest power stations in odisha but also in the entire region and will play a crucial role in bridging the projected deficit during peak hours in the 10th plan.