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Getalsud’s electrifying show at 1925ft

- Sikidiri plant writes to water resources department to open dam gates

Ranchi, Aug. 17: Water level at Getalsud Dam today crossed the 1925ft mark, bringing cheer to Sikidiri hydel power plant authorities who are now hoping to step up operations.

At present, the two units at the state’s lone hydro-electric power station on Subernarekha River, around 40km from Ranchi, generates power for only an hour each in the evening. Technically, the operations can be extended to round the clock when the water level in Getalsud reservoir is 1935 feet, facilitating opening of all the gates. But the minimum mark is 1925 feet.

“Since the advent of monsoon in June, we had been waiting for the water level at Getalsud dam to rise to at least 1925 feet so that we could mount pressure on the water resources department to open the dam gates and enable us to commence round-the-clock power generation. The reading taken today morning showed the water level at 1925.70 feet, which is good news for us,”said Bashir Ansari, project manager, Sikidiri plant.

Wasting no time, the Sikidiri authorities shot off letters to water resources officials today, requesting them to open the dam gates. “We are waiting for a response. Both our units, with an installed capacity of 65MW each, are ready to begin full-fledged generation,” Ansari said.

The entire power generated by the Sikidiri hydel project is earmarked for Ranchi city.

However, operations were halted last November after water level at the dam fell below the requisite 1935 mark, prompting the water resources department to close the gates to conserve the lifeline for drinking water supply.

“Though round-the-clock generation remains suspended for want of adequate water, the two units are being worked for one to one-and-a-half-hours from 8pm every day after seeking clearance from the state load dispatch centre. We are using the water that is seeping into our canals. At present, average generation from the two units is around 0.11 million units each day,” Ansari added.

Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (JUVNL) officials said that over the past one month, power generation in the state has dropped to a paltry 248MW against a peak time demand of 1050MW-plus after a unit of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd (TVNL) was shut down for urgent repairs.

While the remaining one unit at TVNL is generating around 178MW, another 70MW is coming from Patratu Thermal Power Station. With supply falling short of requirement, JUVNL is being forced to buy power at high rates.