The Mahakali River basin, upstream from the proposed Pancheshwar High Dam site has drainage area of 12,100 Km2. PMP has been identified as a huge storage scheme to be developed so as to maximize peak power benefit in the order of 6,720 MW (Pancheshwar High Dam-6480 MW and Rupali Gad Re-regulating Dam-240 MW) with an annual average energy production of 12,333 GWh. The Poornagiri re-regulating dam is an alternative of Rupali Gad Re-regulating Dam from which additional 1000 MW power will be generated (PACO report, Additional Service, section 3, June 1992).
Location and Accessibility
The project area lies between 29° 07' 30" and 29° 48' North latitude and 79° 55' and 80° 35' East longitude. It lies in the Mahakali zone of the Far Western Development Region of Nepal covering some parts of Darchula, Baitadi and Dadeldhura districts bordering India. At present, the Project site can be accessed by vehicle only through India. However, it can be accessed through Nepal by two days walking from Patan, Baitadi.
Pancheshwar High Dam
Pancheshwar High Dam project has been conceived as a huge storage scheme having a 315 m high rock fill dam with a central earthen core. With the "Normal Maximum Water Level" of 680 m elevation the reservoir area extends to 65 km upstream in Baitadi and Darchula districts. The crest length and the crest elevation would be 860 m and 695 m respectively. The "Normal Maximum Water Level" would provide live storage of 6.56 billion m3 of water and capable of generating 10,671 GWh of energy. Two identical underground powerhouses, one on each bank in Nepal and lndia of capacity of 324 MW have been proposed comprising 6 generating units of vertical Francis turbines having 540 MW capacity of each will be installed. Total installed capacity of the high dam project will be of 6480 MW.
A re-regulating dam at Rupaligad is conceived as integral component of PMP to minimise social and environmental Impacts due to high fluctuation of water level and flow in downstream when high dam power plants operate at peaking load. Poornagiri Re-regulating Dam has been identified as an alternative of the Rupaligad RRD.
Rupali Gad Re-regulating Dam
An 83 m high concrete gravity dam on Mahakali River near Samniya settlement is proposed as Rupali Gad Re-regulating Dam which is about 25 km downstream from Pancheshwar High Dam. The dam site is located at about 1.75 km downstream from the confluence of Rupali Gad with Mahakali River in Dadeldhura District. At maximum water level of 420 masl, it stores 70 million m3 of water as live storage and produces 240 MW power with 1662 GWh of annual energy.
Poornagiri Re-Regulating Dam
This dam is located at 64 km downstream from High dam. DPR study of 1995 has proposed two options; (a) 117 m high rock fill dam, and (b) 124 m high concrete gravity dam. These are for re-regulating the water of the high dam. The power production of the dam is 1000 MW in both options.