The Getalsud reservoir
Ranchi, Oct. 3: More than 130 mm rain lashed Ranchi over the past 24 hours, but that’s not enough for the state’s only hydel power station to work to full capacity.
A team of officials from irrigation and drinking water and sanitation department that visited the Sikidiri dam to take stock of water levels today decided to open sluice gates by a mere feet and four inches to allow some water to flow into canals for hydel power generation.
Bashir Ansari, project manager, Sikidiri Hydel Power Station, said unless the gates were lifted by at least two feet, round-the-clock power generation from the two units would not be feasible.
“Since the gates of the dam were partially opened this afternoon, the flow of water into our canals is very slow. Water levels in our canals are sufficient to allow us to run the units for a maximum of 4 hours at a stretch,” he told The Telegraph.
Even though both units were being run, generation was a meagre 50 MW because of the reduced water levels, he explained.
Water levels at the Sikidiri reservoir now stands at 1932 feet.
Ansari pointed out that another round of inspection would be carried out at the dam tomorrow when they would request that the gates be raise by at least 2 feet. “With the skies still overcast, another round of showers would add strength to our demands,” he said.
The Sikidiri project manager pointed out that 2013 proved to be unlucky as they had not yet been able to run the hydel plant to its full capacity.
The Sikidiri station, the only one of its kind in Jharkhand, is equipped with two units, each with installed capacity of 65MW. Both units, when run, are capable of generating 130 MW. All power generated from the Sikidiri plant is earmarked specifically for Ranchi city.
Power officials pointed out that since May this year, total generation in the state averaged around 200 MW against a peak time demand of more than 1,050 MW, forcing them to buy at least 850 MW of power every day.
“A unit of hydel power costs less than a rupee to generate. Compared to this, Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) was compelled to buy power at rates of Rs 4.50 per unit or more. In case Sikidiri hydel runs to its full capacity, JSEB would save on precious resources,” an official revealed.