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Thursday, July 2, 2009


State may face power, water shortage

Late Rains Threaten Koyna Closure

 THE state is worried about the anticipated power cuts in the days to come as a fallout of the delaying monsoon. With no sufficient rains till now, Koyna, the state's biggest power generator, faces the danger of being halted.
    Situated in the foothills of Sahyadri mountain range, the 1940 mw capacity Koyna works as the state's energy backup and is used only during peak hours. The missing rains may force the state to stop power generation at Koyna that contributes nearly 20% of the state's total generation.
    Water level of the Koyna reservoir as on date is 2,081 ft which is 6.5 ft lower than last year's level. "We can run the hydel station until the water level is 2,067 ft. Any further reduction will force us to shut
two sets, stage III and IV, from generating power. This will lop off around 1,000 mw from the system," an official in the energy ministry said. With its current rate of reduction of the water level, it will take at the most a week for the hydel station to reach a level below 2,067 ft. "If we don't get rains in the next 6-7 days, we will stop Koyna's III and IV units," he said.
    The real crisis, however, will be when the water level continues to recede after
will continue to generate electricity till water level touches 2020 ft. It will come to a complete halt if it goes down further," the official said. Energy ministry estimates give the hydel station 30 days time. "We are heading for a serious crisis that in the Koyna lake. "The hydel station
has been structured for optimal use of
water. The power station's I and II units

unless the situation improves within a month," he said.
    This means, the state's overall gap in the demand and supply of electricity will further be widened. At present the state
has just about 10,300 mw of electricity available from all its sources against a demand of over 13,000 mw. "The situation is precarious. It's unprecedented to have a shortfall of over 2,700 mw right in the month of June when the monsoon picks up," the official said.
    Even three weeks after the monsoon's scheduled arrival, the wait for the rains continues all over Maharashtra. As reported by ET last week, over 200 talukas across the state face the danger of wasting first sowing due to lack of rains. Many cities in the state, including Mumbai, face severe water cuts. The situation will only worsen if further power cuts are imposed.

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