Chief minister Arjun Munda inaugurates the first unit of a new power plant being built by Adhunik Group at Gamharia on Tuesday. With him are deputy chief minister Hemant Soren, tribal welfare minister Champai Soren and a host of company officials. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Ranchi, Oct. 16: More than half of Jharkhand was without electricity today after a TVNL unit developed a snag, ruining Navratra celebrations on a day chief minister Arjun Munda inaugurated a new power plant but warned residents of a five-year wait for the overall crisis to ease.
Immediate relief for 14 of the state’s 24 districts was unlikely to come before tomorrow as, according to officials of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd, repairs of the malfunctioning unit could begin only after the boiler cooled down.
Figures released by eastern load despatch centre indicated that total generation from Jharkhand plummeted to 295MW against a normal peak time demand of over 900MW after the TVNL unit developed a leak and had to be shut down.
Though efforts were made to bridge the demand-supply gap by drawing around 350MW from the central pool, an uncovered deficit of over 350MW left Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) with little option. It had to enforce blackouts throughout its command areas spread over Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti, Simdega, West Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Latehar, Chatra, Garhwa and Palamau districts.
“A tube leakage in a boiler section of a unit has forced us to shut it down altogether. The repairs would take up at least 24 hours. We expect to light up the unit late tomorrow evening. Even after the unit is lit up, sufficient time needs to be allowed before it can be synchronised into the state grid,” Ramavtar Sahu, TVNL general manager told The Telegraph over the phone from Lalpania in Bokaro district.
Prior to the shutdown, the two TVNL units were averaging around 400MW. Now, with only one unit in operation, generation from TVNL dropped to 200MW, Sahu revealed.
Grid officials maintained efforts were on to keep the state capital free of blackouts. “Ranchi is being given a full load status, implying that the state capital is being given all the power that it needs. There are only a few areas where power has been shut down to help us carry out necessary preventive maintenance jobs,” an official said.
The districts were the worst sufferers. Throughout rural areas of Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti, Simdega, West Singhbhum, Latehar, Chatra, Garhwa and Palamau, residents began lodging complaints from the morning,
Those in Gumla said they were without power from 4.30AM. “We got power again from 8 AM for nearly two hours. Since then, we have been receiving power in several instalments which is of no use,” said B. Sharma.
At Lohardaga, residents pointed out that in addition to frequent power cuts since early morning, supply of drinking water was severely disrupted as pumping stations were unable to operate.
At Chatra, Palamau, Garhwa, Latehar, Khunti and Simdega districts, residents said the power cuts stretched for hours together, spoiling Navratra celebrations.
Earlier in the day, Munda inaugurated a 270 MW unit of a 1,080 MW power plant being built by Adhunik Group at Gamharia in Seraikela-Kharsawan district. According to the deal with the state government, 25 per cent of the power produced by Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Ltd would be supplied to JSEB.