Ranchi, Sept. 15: Production at the state’s only hydropower facility in Sikidiri, around 40km from Ranchi, continues to be sluggish because of insufficient rain this season.
And if it does not rain heavily in and around Sikidiri for at least four to five hours at a stretch immediately, the two 65MW units may have to stop generation.
Speaking to The Telegraph Sikidiri Hydel’s project manager Bashir Ansari said time was running out fast and they were staring at a dry run, at least till the next monsoon.
“There isn’t enough water in Getalsud reservoir to put both the units in full swing. It is already mid-September, and rain hasn’t been widespread. As a result, the water level in the reservoir is still below the minimum mark of 1935ft, which mandatory to run both the units 24x7,” he said.
Presently, the water stands at 1927ft. So, the two units are switched on only for an hour during peak evening time, producing merely 100MW.
The plant only caters to Ranchi city.
Generally, production gains momentum in the second half of July or the first half of August when the monsoon is in full swing and the water level goes up. Both the units work round the clock during this period, which continues till October end.
“But, this year situation has been different,” Ansari added.
The plant management has written to the state irrigation department to open the reservoir’s gates so that round-the-clock generation could be commenced. “Technically, the gates are opened as soon as water level touches 1935ft. But, we have made the request owing to unfavourable conditions this year. However, the department has declined the plea,” Ansari added.
Sources said the Getalsud reservoir, spread over 6,000sq miles on the catchment area of Subernarekha, was earmarked for drinking water supply. So, the gates cannot be opened unless the water level reaches the mandatory 1935ft.
In 2010, the reservoir gates remained closed because of poor rainfall that year. As a result, generation remained low till the next year monsoon.