News1st visits Laxapana Power Station; sheds light on renovation work underway ( A Special Report)

News1st visits Laxapana Power Station; sheds light on renovation work underway ( A Special Report)

Written by Bella Dalima

21 Jun, 2014 | 10:05 pm

According to the Ceylon Electricity Board a sum of Rs. 120 million that was lost annually as a result of a leakage at the tunnel of the Lakshapana Power Plant can be saved, starting this month.

Renovation work on this tunnel got underway, earlier this year after a lapse of forty years. The renovation work was aired on a News1st Special Report on February 22, two days after the tunnel was emptied.

News1st visited the Laxapana Power Station yet again and filed this report.

News1st crew accompanied by engineers at the Lakshapana Complex entered the Lakshpana Tunnel via an external tunnel that has an entrance from the surface. The crew embarked on this visit, concurrent to the final inspection tour undertaken at the tunnel

When the crew made their way into depths below, the debris left behind after renovations was being raised to the surface. The crew entered the tunnel and moved south along the sub-tunnel for two kilometres.

The crew did not have any means of communication with the outside world, whilst inside the dark tunnel, and moved forward with a concealed fear in their hearts.

The crew was accompanied by the Chief Engineer of the Lakshapana Complex , a number of other engineers and the OIC of the Norton Bridge Police. The crew moved ahead, and had to travel over five kilometres to reach the other end of this tunnel.

That tunnel was built with granite rock 300 feet below the surface. Though the journey was tiring , the crew continued to move forward. After traveling for almost 18, 000 feet The inspection team stopped to inspect a newly-laid layer of concrete .

The water leakage at the point, was reported on News1st on February 22.

Meanwhile, funding for this massive project was provided by the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Dam Protection and Water Resources Management Project of the World Bank.

The leak was first reported from this tunnel in 1976. A complete study on the issue commenced in 2002.

As a result of this leak,  300 litres of water escape the tunnel per second and a total of about 1/8th the capacity of the Maussakele Reservoir has already been lost. After the inspection of the tunnel, the inspection team also took  time to look into the status of the sub-tunnel.

It was 2 in the afternoon  when the crew reached the surface, almost four hours after moving into the depths below. The engineers were quick to head on the to the Canyon Reservoir for another important task.









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