A street food vendor relies on a gas lantern to do business in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, July 1: A technical snag at the coal-feeding component of a Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (TVNL) unit at Lalpania in Bokaro early this morning triggered prolonged blackouts in 14 districts of Jharkhand.
TVNL general manager Ramavatar Sahu said “at least 24 hours” would be required for full repair of the snag. “We expect to light up the unit by tomorrow evening. Only one unit at TVNL is now running, generating above 200MW,” he told The Telegraph.
This is the second time in the past seven days that a TVNL unit had to be shut down following technical problems. On June 25, tube leakage in a boiler unit forced a shutdown.
Following today’s shutdown of the TVNL unit, overall power generation in the state plunged to 260MW against a peak time demand of over 850MW, according to figures released by the regional load despatch centre.
One remaining unit of TVNL and a unit at Patratu Thermal Power Station were the contributors. The normal demand hovered between 700MW and 750MW, as offices, schools and major business establishments were closed, it being a Sunday.
Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) drew around 300MW from the eastern grid to bridge the demand-supply gap. But with an overall deficit of nearly 200MW, it had no option but resort to blackouts throughout its command areas in Ranchi, West Singhbhum, parts of East Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti, Simdega, Chatra, Latehar, Koderma, Palamau, Giridih and Deoghar in phases.
In Ranchi, power grid officials said despite the shortfall in generation, the state capital was provided with “full load”.
Nevertheless, a majority of Ranchi went without power for the best part of the day, as JSEB carried out preventive maintenance on its main transmission routes.
Officials, when asked about the frequent breakdowns, said that unless the proposed third phase of expansion was carried out at TVNL and three additional units installed, there would be no respite.
However, all eyes are on unit No. 10 at the Patratu station, which has been under test run over a month.
The unit, once synchronised with the state grid, will contribute around 100MW.