BHUBANESWAR: With no visible improvement in water level in reservoirs despite widespread rains across the State, power crisis continues to persist as cash-strapped Gridco is unable to buy costly thermal power to meet the deficit.
Even as the consumers are experiencing unscheduled power cuts for more than a month, the State Government is neither giving any commitment of financial assistance to cash-strapped Gridco for purchase of power to meet the crisis nor allowing the bulk power trading utility to move the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission for power regulation.
While power distribution companies (discoms) have resorted to indiscriminate power cuts, sources in the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) said power regulation (to discoms) is made when necessary. Terming this as “real time regulation”, the sources said one-hour load shedding in urban centres like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will be enough.
Pegging the current shortage of power at 450-500 MW, Gridco sources said the crisis will be over if there is a a good spell of rain in upper catchments of the reservoirs having hydro power stations.
The current spell of intermittent rains though widespread, has not improved the water level in any of six the reservoirs where hydro power stations are located.
Water level in Upper Indravati in Kalahandi district is nearly five metres below the last year’s level. Thursday’s water level in the reservoir was 628.20 mt as against 633 mt last year. Indravati hydro power station has generating capacity of 600 MW.
According to Meteorological department, rainfall deficit in Kalahandi district is 63 per cent below normal.
Similar is the condition of Balimela reservoir in Koraput district. Water level in Balimela reservoir is 1,481.30 ft as against 1489.30 ft last year.
On an average, the State is getting 400 MW from hydro power sector. In a good monsoon year, the State normally generates more than 1,100 MW from hydro power sector, official sources said.
The average power demand of the State remained high at about 3,100 MW while peak demand is going up to 3,700 MW.
Frequent breakdown of some of the units of Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) has further compounded the power problem. Two units of 110 MW each of the power station were out of grid resulting in a net shortfall of about 200 MW.