BHUBANESWAR: At a time when monsoon has been playing truant and August saw a rainfall deficit of 59 pc than normal, water level in major reservoirs including Hirakud has dipped significantly causing concern for hydro power generation.
Hirakud dam’s live storage level on Thursday, September 2, 2021, was 62.9 per cent (pc) of the total storage capacity. The current water level is 620.15 ft which is 9.85 ft down the full reservoir level of 630 ft. The water level on this day last year was 625.31 ft.
Water level in Hirakud fell as dam authorities opened 10 sluice gates in July expecting release of more water by Chhattisgarh due to heavy rains in the neighbouring state. The average inflow of water into the reservoir is 26,615 cusecs and the same quantity of water is being released for irrigation, industries and power generation purposes.
The water level is at an alarming level at Upper Kolab with 18.6 pc live storage. The reservoir level is at 847.9 mt against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 858 mt. The water level during this day last year was 850.54 mt.
The live storage filling of Machkund is only 24.4 pc, Balimela 25.3 pc and Indravati 30.2 pc of the FRL of 2750 ft, 1516 ft and 642 mt respectively. The current water level in these reservoirs is 34.9 ft, 48.3 ft and 10.52 mt lower than the FRL.
Though the water level in Rengali dam is about 80 pc of the full reservoir capacity of 123.5 mt, the current level is 2.5 mt less than the reservoir position on this day last year. The average generation of power from the seven hydro power plants including Chiplima is in the range of 700 MW to 860 MW. In a normal monsoon, the average hydro power generation of the State was around 1500 MW, informed sources in the State Load Despatch Centre.
The State has the advantage of sourcing cheapest power from its hydro stations and an average drop of 300-400 MW of power a day is a huge loss to the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) and the consumers of the State are deprived of cheaper power, said president of Odisha Bidyut Upabhokta Sangh Ramesh Satpathy.
If there is rainfall in the coming days, the situation is likely to worsen further and the State will have a difficult time to meet the power requirement during summer months when the demand for power is more, said sources in the Energy department.