(ASRI 2024) Journey to promote Records in Asia - P24 - Sidrapong Hydroelectric Power Station (India): Asia's First Hydroelectric Power Station

23-02-2024

(Worldkings.org) Sidrapong Hydel Power Station, also known as the Sidrapong Hydroelectric Plant, nestles at the foothills of the Arya tea garden, situated 12 kilometers from the town of Darjeeling. It stands as India's oldest hydroelectric plant and holds significance as one of Asia's pioneering ventures in hydropower.

Photo of Sidrapong: Home to Asia's first Hydroelectric Power Station. #notontripoto By Shantam Basu

History

Sidrapong hydroelectric power station Darjeeling history

The hydroelectric plant was inaugurated on November 10, 1897, with an initial capacity of 2 × 65 kW. Over time, its capacity underwent expansions to meet the escalating demand, reaching a total of 1000 kW by 1916. As water supply constraints were encountered, machinery was upgraded in 1931 to enhance efficiency in three phases.

Location and Infrastructure

Sidrapong hydroelectric power station Darjeeling history

The plant harnesses water from the Kotwali, Hospital, and Barbatia streams, channeling it through a network of pipelines to reservoirs, then conveyed through 220-meter pipelines to the generating turbines. The West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) assumed operations after acquiring Darjeeling Electric Supply in 1978.

Photo of Sidrapong: Home to Asia's first Hydroelectric Power Station. #notontripoto by Shantam Basu

In the 1980s, the plant faced damage due to a landslide and remained closed for a decade but was restored in 1997 to commemorate its centenary. It was recognized as a cultural heritage site by the central government.

Access Route

Photo of Sidrapong: Home to Asia's first Hydroelectric Power Station. #notontripoto by Shantam Basu

Two approaches lead to the plant. The first route traverses the Arya tea garden. Access to the tea processing plant road can be made by car, covering a distance of 6 km from Darjeeling. Behind the tea processing plant lies a 3 km uphill road to Sidrapong Forebay. Though not fully developed, this route offers scenic views of tea gardens and surrounding hills. Visitors intending to appreciate the landscape and tour Asia's first hydroelectric plant should study the route carefully, preferably accompanied by a local guide to avoid unwanted encounters such as reptiles and insects or accidents caused by entangling algaes.

Photo of Sidrapong: Home to Asia's first Hydroelectric Power Station. #notontripoto by Shantam Basu

The Sidrapong Hydroelectric Plant stands as a significant landmark in the energy development history of India and Asia, continuing to play a vital role in providing power to the Darjeeling region.

According to Shantam Basu


Josephine (Collect & Edit) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

 

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