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Geotechnical Evaluation of Power Tunnel for Vishnugad-Pipalkoti Hydel Scheme, Garhwal Himalaya, India

Author: 
Lakshmanan, K., Anbalagan, R. and Yadev, A.K.
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The Vishnugad - Pipalkoti hydel scheme, a run-off-the-river scheme envisages the construction of a 65m high concrete gravity dam across the river Alakananda, about 1km downstream of Vishnugad near the Helong village to divert water through a 8m diameter horse shoe shaped Head Race Tunnel over a length of 13.4 km to an underground power house for generating 444MW of power near the Hat village. The project is located in Lesser Himalayan terrain, which is characterized by complicated geological setting. The rocks exposed in the project area include dolomites, slates, quartzites and chlorite schists of Pipalkoti Formation of Garhwal Group. The rocks are traversed by many types of structural discontinuities. The bedding traces seen at places in quartzites are nearly parallel to foliations. In addition, two prominent sets of joint are observed in the rocks. The intersection of these discontinuities may result in a number of stable or unstable rock wedges depending upon their orientation with respect to tunnel alignment. The terrain shows evidences of large scale thermal activities in the area as evidenced by the presence of a few thermal springs. Some of the important problems likely to be faced during the construction of the Power Tunnel are discussed. The rock mass properties were derived using RMR and Q System in order to predict rock load and support requirements.

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