Maharashtra achieved yet another milestone on Wednesday, when its engineers succeeded in creating a controlled explosion called 'lake tapping' in the Koyna hydro-electric reservoir to facilitate the generation of 1,000 mega watts of power even when the water level goes down in peak summer.
During the process, an intake tunnel was placed under the water source. Then, a controlled blast was used to throw open rock plugs 5-6 metres thick at the tunnel's mouth and create a surge of water to operate the turbines.
About 1,600 kg explosives were used in the blast.
At 11 am on Wednesday, a collaboration between the water resources department and technicians from Denmark and America yielded good results.
This was the second lake tapping at Koyna in 13 years. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, his deputy Ajit Pawar, who heads energy department, and water resources minister Sunil Tatkare triggered the blast.
With this, stage IV of Koyna will operate its turbines at a higher rate even when reservoir's water level is depleted to 630 metres and meet the power demand during peak hours.
It is expected to generate 1,185 million units every year. It will also give 20 thousand million cubic feet of water (TMC) extra water to three other dams in the state's drought-affected districts in western Maharashtra.