The Getalsud Dam across Subernarekha
Ranchi, Aug. 20: A suddenly generous rain god has made Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) hopeful.
The state utility is now keeping its fingers crossed for more showers so that it can begin round-the-clock generation at Subernarekha Hydel Power Station in Sikidiri, Ranchi district.
“The current water level at Sikidiri reservoir stands at 1920.10 feet. The gates of the reservoir will be opened once water touches 1,930-feet mark. We will persuade the irrigation as well as the drinking water and sanitation departments to release water once the level crosses 1,921 feet,” JSEB chairman S.N. Verma told The Telegraph.
At present, the power major is conducting test runs from the two units of Sikidiri hydel project with the help of groundwater that has seeped into the canals. The water flow increased in the past 24 hours, thanks to the sporadic showers that continue to lash Ranchi and its adjacent areas.
“We have synchronised the generation from the plant with the state grid. And, we are absolutely ready to start round-the-clock generation from Sikidiri,” the JSEB chief added.
The power major has been on the back foot since May when three towers on the main transmission line in Bihar were uprooted, forcing JSEB to shut down one of its units at Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (TVNL) to reduce the burden on the existing lines.
“We need to start operations at Sikidiri soon, as after the collapse of three towers, we have been compelled to stop generation from TVNL. To make up for the supply shortfall, we are purchasing power from outside sources at a rate of Rs 4.50 per unit. We are, however, charging our domestic consumers Rs 2.40 per unit in keeping with the existing tariff. Thus, for every unit of power, we are losing out on our revenue,” Verma added.
The process of power generation from Sikidiri hydel will cost less than a rupee per unit. Once round-the-clock generation starts, the power board will be in a position to save its precious resources, explained the JSEB chief.
Located some 40km from Ranchi to harness water from the Subernarekha, 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. The power generated here is exclusively earmarked for the capital.
Bashir Ansari, general manager of Sikidiri hydel, said both units ran for an hour in the evening.
“We begin generation from 7pm. The units are made to run for approximately an hour to generate 0.12million units,” said Ansari.