GVK to file Rs3,000 cr claim for Uttarakhand flood damage

The GVK Group, building the Srinagar hydroelectric power plant that suffered damage in the Uttarakhand flood-landslide disaster in June, is in the process of preparing an insurance claim for the damage, according to company officials.

Srinagar in Uttarakhand should not of course be confused with Shrinagar in Jammu & Kashmir.

Isaac George, GVK's director of finance and chief executive for its construction business, said the total insurance covers Rs2,600 crore for the physical damage, and another Rs400 crore per annum under an of advance loss of profit policy which provides insurance cover to meet such contingencies.

The company said it had hired assessment experts from Singapore to quantify the damage.

''We are working to arrive at a claim figure. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is still to give us the cost of equipment damaged. National Insurance is the lead insurer for the power plant,'' George said.

At the recent annual general meeting of GVK, group chairman G V K Reddy said the company had appointed a Singapore-based consultant to assess the damage and advise.

He added that repair work was going on and the plant would be operational by the first quarter of next year.

GVK is developing a 330 MW hydro project on the river Alaknanda in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, and it is nearing completion. It involves the building of an 90-metre high dam on one of the main sources of the river Ganges.

A power purchase agreement has been signed with the Uttar Pradesh government under which 12 per cent of the output would be given free to Uttarakhand. The project is expected to commission its first unit by the second quarter of this year.

"During the recent floods in Uttarakhand, some water entered into the powerhouse at Srinagar Hydro Electric Power project. Fortunately, there have been no injuries or fatalities. Even as we assess the impact on machinery and equipment, corrective measures (like water evacuation) have already begun," GVK had said in a statement in June.

"Based on the information available currently, there may be an impact of 2-3 months on the project. We are however, confident of making up to minimise the impact on the project and resolve the issue at the earliest," it added.