An effigy of Ravan being burnt on Dussehra in Bokaro on Monday.
Picture by Pankaj Singh
Ranchi, Oct. 15: Cyclone Phailin, that struck Jharkhand on Sunday, has hit Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) at the core with several generating stations still shut.
Two thermal power generating stations, the Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (TVNL) at Lalpania in Bokaro district and Patratu Thermal Power Station (PTPS) in Ramgarh district, had to be shut on October 12 midnight on the orders of eastern regional load despatch centre to avoid overloading of transmission systems.
Both power stations remained inoperative even after 72 hours.
Officials manning Sikidiri Hydel Power Station in Ranchi district said they were unable to operate two units for most parts of the day today due to system faults.
“We have sufficient water that has been released from Getalsud Dam by the water resources department, to run the two units to full capacity. However, since the transmission and distribution system is not in a position to take additional load, we are forced to operate one unit at the most,” Bashir Ansari, project manager, Sikidiri, told The Telegraph.
Figures released by the load despatch centre revealed that while the two thermal power units remained shut, Sikidiri hydel was the lone power generator, pushing through an average of 59MW against a normal daily demand of 1,050 MW-plus.
Though JSEB has been drawing around 350MW from the central pool, the huge demand-supply gap left it with no option but to enforce blackouts throughout the state in phases.
“Dozens of electricity poles have been uprooted by the storm all over the state. Scores of uprooted trees fell on overhead transmission lines forcing shutdowns. At numerous points all over JSEB command areas, conductors, insulators and other installations were damaged by the cyclone which resulted in technical faults compelling us to suspend generation from TVNL and PTPS as a precautionary measure,” JSEB chairman S. N. Verma said.
Extracting mangled wires from the trees were posing a serious challenge for JSEB. The board has formed 19 survey teams to take stock of the damage, but inclement weather was hampering remedial action.
“Still, dedicated teams of power engineers and support staff have been working round-the-clock to restore power. We have covered almost 90 per cent of our command area,” Verma said, claiming that power had been restored in most places even though isolated blackout pockets remained.
However, the JSEB chief conceded that since the supply chain had not been rid of all snags, JSEB was unable to operate the thermal power units.
“We are confident of restoring power throughout the state in the next 24 hours,” he maintained.