Sikidiri dam gates closed

Ranchi, Nov. 27: Power generation in Jharkhand dropped by nearly 100MW today after the water resources department ordered complete shutdown of the dam gates of Sikidiri reservoir, prompting the Subernarekha Hydel Power Station — the state’s lone hydel project — to lie idle for most part of the day.

The order came after water level at the reservoir fell down to 1921.50 feet. Technically, the sluice gates can be opened to release water for power generation only when the water level at the dam rises to at least 1,935 feet.

However, the Sikidiri plant has not completely stopped generation of power and is operating its two units for one-and-a-half hours each in the morning and evening by using seepage water from the reservoir.

“Hitherto, the reservoir gates used to be kept partially open and we were generating over 100MW of power round the clock from our two units. Now, the gates have been completely shut down and hence, round-the-clock power production is not possible,” Bashir Ansari, project manager, Sikidiri hydel, told The Telegraph.

He added that since water was still steeping in through the sluice gates, they were operating the units for a few hours.

“The state load dispatch centre has allowed us to run the units from 7am to 8.30am and 7pm to 8.30pm. We shall continue to generate power as long as we have sufficient water in our canals,” Ansari added.

According to figures released by Eastern Regional Load Despatch Centre, the Sikidiri plant contributed around 0.32 million units of power to the state grid today. The entire power generated is earmarked for the state capital.

The Sikidiri hydel plant, the only one of its kind in the state, started round-the-clock power generation from October 4 after the water resources department ordered lifting of the reservoir gates by one and a half feet.

Though Jharkhand State Electricity Board had demanded that the gates be opened by at least two feet, the state water resources department refused to do so, saying that adequate precautions needed to be taken to ensure that sufficient water was retained in the reservoir for supply of drinking water to the state capital.

Located some 40km from Ranchi to harness waters from river Subernarekha, the two hydel units at Sikidiri have a total installed capacity of 130MW.

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