Ranchi, Jan. 6: Overcast conditions coupled with dense fog pulled down maximum temperatures around the state today, and adding to the Sunday gloom were prolonged power cuts triggered by a shutdown of one unit of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL).
A technical snag in the boiler plant forced the TVNL shutdown at midnight.
“We have shut down Unit No. 1. Necessary repairs are being carried out and we expect to light up the unit only late tomorrow evening,” TVNL general manager Ramavtar Sahu told The Telegraph over phone from Lalpania in Bokaro.
TVNL with its two units has an installed capacity of 420MW from which average generation is around 400MW plus. Following the snag, TVNL has been contributing around 210MW to the state grid, Sahu added.
Figures released by Eastern Load Dispatch Centre (ERLDC) indicated that after the glitch, total generation from Jharkhand plummeted to 260MW against a normal peak time demand of over 900MW. Whilst one unit at TVNL continued to generate around 210MW, Patratu thermal, the state’s oldest generating facility at Ramgarh district contributed another 50MW. ERLDC added that two units at Patratu, which together are capable of generating 215MW, are lying defunct and are not expected to be operational before January10.
Though efforts were made to bridge the demand-supply gap by drawing around 340MW from the central pool, an uncovered deficit of nearly 300MW left JSEB with no option but to clamp blackouts in phases throughout its command areas spread over Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti, Simdega, West Singhbhum, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Latehar, Chatra, Garhwa and Palamau.
Grid officials reported that Ranchi was kept virtually load shedding free throughout the day, except for a brief spell between 9am and 11am. Power officials said the state capital was being given all the power that it needed.
However, residents in the districts were not so lucky. Most complained that they had been without power for at least 12 hours. In Gumla, residents said though they had power from midnight to 6am, supply was erratic after that.
“We are not getting power for more than 30 minutes at a stretch,” complained one B. Sharma.
At Lohardaga, residents said long hours of load shedding brought with it acute shortage of drinking water. Even pumping stations remained idle for want of power. At Latehar, residents pointed out that in the absence of piped water facility, they were dependent on their borewells for drinking water. However, erratic power supply had meant they could not operate the pumps.
Elsewhere at Khunti, Simdega, Chatra, Garhwa and Palamau, residents complained that power supply was intermittent.