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Power cut in coal mines

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  • Published 12.06.12

June 11: Large parts of the state reeled under prolonged power cuts today after six units of DVC-operated thermal power plants at Bokaro and Chandrapura tripped as a result of technical snags.

The disruptions were so severe that power supply to the railways and to coal mines of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd at Dhanbad and Jharia were suspended for some time. The worst affected districts were Dhanbad, Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Deoghar, Dumka, Sahebganj, Godda and Jamtara.

Officials manning the DVC control room told The Telegraph that faults in the main transmission lines led to three units of Bokaro Thermal tripping around 10am, plunging total generation from the unit to zero. To make matters worse, the Bokaro snag triggered off a chain reaction causing all three units at Chandrapura Thermal Power Station to stop functioning. The combined generation capacity of the two units is 1,020MW.

“When the problem occurred, power was diverted from Joda in Odisha to Chandrapura to light up two of the three units. By late afternoon, two units at Chandrapura began commercial generation. Power was immediately restored to the railways and the coal mines and efforts were on to restore normal supply to the DVC command areas in Jharkhand,” an official said.

Figures released by DVC indicated that following the shutdown, generation from DVC plants dropped to 1,400MW from 2,500MW. However, by evening, generation began to pick up as two units at Chandrapura were synchronised, bringing the total DVC generation to over 1,880MW.

Power supply to 14 of 28 districts was also affected after two units at Patratu Thermal shut down following leaks in the boiler units.

“One unit has been repaired and lit up. The second unit is yet to be repaired. The boiler unit is so hot that our engineers are waiting for it to cool down before they can begin inspection and assess the damage. It takes anything between 24 to 48 hours for a boiler unit to cool,” S.N. Verma, chairman, Jharkhand State Electricity Board, told The Telegraph.

The severe power cuts prompted more than 100 residents of Hirapur in Dhanbad to gherao the general manager of Jharkhand State Electricity Board Ramayatan Prasad Singh at his office for more than an hour.

For residents of Santhal Pargana, problems began last night following a snag at the Lalmatia (Godda)-based power grid station of ECL.

According to power department sources, a transformer at the Lalmatia grid station — the main supply source for most of the districts of Santhal Pargana — burnt down around 9pm, plunging the region into darkness.