The project, which was approved in the early 1970s, has seen construction halted on a number of occasions since work began in 1978 as a result of this legal action.
Coffer damming at the project was completed in 1996, however impounding of the reservoir could not begin until September 2003, when India’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of the the Tehri Development Corporation, and allowed the impounding of the reservoir.
The Tehri project is now anticipated to cost nearly US$1.55B and is expected to be commissioned by March 2005. Over US$1.45B in expenditure had already been incurred by September 2004.
The cost over-run and time-delay is estimated at almost $862M and 72 months.
The project was hit with further problems in August 2004, when a landslide at the project site caused a tunnel to collapse, resulting in the deaths of 29 workers.
Although the dam is located in a highly seismic area near the Himalayas, no seismic activity was reported at the time of the accident. The stability of the dam and the surronding area has been investigated by a number of high powered panels, who found the dam to be satisfactory under extreme seismic loading conditions.
When it is finally completed, Tehri dam will be the fifth highest rockfill dam in the world with the potential to produce 2400MW of power.