Shimla, July 18: Four major power projects – the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri, 412 MW Rampur, 1,000 MW Karcham-Wangtu and 120 MW Bhaba – were shut down for flushing out high content of silt being discharged in the Sutlej and its tributaries since the last night.
As a result of the shutdown, power crisis looms in the north region as the state is supplying power to Delhi, Punjab, Noida and energy exchange of India. The shutdown had resulted in a loss of nine lakh units yesterday, the power controller said.
“The power crisis may compound in the north region as the SJVNL-run Nathpa and Rampur power projects and private company-run Karcham-Wangtu in Kinnaur remained closed since 9.30 am for more than seven hours yesterday and is yet to resume generation,” the power controller said. “The projects are expected to resume generation in the evening after flushing out the silt,” he added.
Himachal needs 272 lakh units every day, but the availability of power in the state is 262 lakh units. “Himachal is exporting 232 lakh units to Delhi, Noida and Punjab these days as the rainy seasons is considered to be the peak season for the generation of electricity and the source of revenue for the state,” a power engineer said.
The SJVNL claimed the silt discharge in the Sutlej recorded at Powari was 2,472 particle per minutes (PPM) and at Wangtu it was 2,760 PPM with the inflow in the river recorded at 1,200 cumec, which was normal these days.
The silt content in the Nathpa Dam was 1144 PPM. “The SJVNL shut down Nathpa and Rampur power houses to de-silt the projects in the morning. We hope to resume the production in the evening,” said an SJVNL official.
“It is a regular exercise to maintain powerhouse. The projects have been designed to run even if the silt level increases to 4,000 PPM,” he added. Both these projects are running at its peak capacity and have already generated 4,342 million units of electricity this year till date.
Managing director of the HPSEBL PC Negi said the Bhaba project was shut for two hours in the morning due to high silt, but it had resumed production. “It is running two units while the third unit is under repair,” he added.
DC, Shimla, Rohan Chand Thakur said they sounded an alert for the people living in Rampur, Bhawangar, Luhri, Sunni after the silt was released in the Sutlej by asking people not to venture near the river. The exercise ran smoothly and no damage was reported along the river, he added.
Source: Tribune India