The state drinking water and sanitation department has fixed October 15 as the date it will shut all gates of Getalsud Dam in Ranchi to conserve drinking water for the capital, a move that would stop all power generation from Sikidiri hydel till the next monsoon.
However, Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) on Sunday reposed full faith on the rain gods, stressing that it was confident that one last spell of heavy rain would once again increase the water levels of Getalsud Dam and help improve generation figures.
“Water level of Getalsud Dam has been falling fast, leaving us with no option but to stop generation from the two units of Sikidiri hydel project. Whatever water now remains in the dam needs to be saved for drinking water purposes. However, we are confident that another round of heavy rain, the last this season, is not far off and that would raise the water levels of the dam all over again and help us generate power till the end of the current month,” JSEB chairman S.N. Verma told The Telegraph.
“The rain god cannot be that harsh on us,” Verma added.
The JSEB chief pointed out that at present, the two units at Sikidiri hydel were being operated for a maximum of three to five hours a day, due to falling water levels at the dam. However, he stressed that in the event of another round of heavy showers, JSEB would be in a position to work the hydel plant throughout the day till the end of this month and ensure abundant power to the state capital.
The JSEB chief lamented that the quantity of water in Sikidiri reservoir was much lower than expected due to heavy silting, since no dredging had ever been undertaken of the dam ever since it was constructed way back in 1971. He added that JSEB had requested the drinking water and sanitation department to carry out desilting of Getalsud reservoir.
Located some 40km from Ranchi to harness water from the Subarnarekha, the Getalsud reservoir at Sikidiri has a catchment area spread over 6,000sq miles.
Two hydel units, installed between 1977 and 1980 has a total installed capacity of 130MW and is equipped to generate power daily during peak hours during the monsoon seasons only when the water level of the reservoir goes up to 1,935 feet. The entire power generated at Sikidiri is exclusively earmarked for Ranchi city.
Bashir Ansari, project manager of Sikidiri hydel told The Telegraph that at present, water level of Getalsud Dam stood at 1,923 feet. “Very little water is being made available for power generation with the result that the two hydel units are made to generate power for not more than 5 to 6 hours a day. Today, the two units were revved up for three hours in the morning and another two hours in the evening,” he said.
Ansari confirmed that the state drinking water and sanitation department had finally served an order that it would shut down all gates of Sikidiri hydel on October 15to conserve water remaining in the dam.