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Northern states in for dark days

india Updated: Dec 13, 2007 03:14 IST
Vikas Vasudeva
Vikas Vasudeva
Hindustan Times
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With the country's largest 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydropower project producing around 28 million unit less power because of water shortage in the Satluj, the northern states are likely to face power hiccups in the days to come.

The sub-zero temperature in the higher reaches of the state and Tibet, following fresh snowfall has frozen most of the natural water sources causing deficit water supply in the river, forcing a decline in power production at NJPC by around 80 per cent.

The water release in the Satluj at Nathpa came down to an average of below 75 cumecs on Tuesday, which had forced the authorities of the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) to produce only 7.27 million unit of power as against the 36 million unit, which is the optimum production at the project daily.

The six units of the project when running to its optimum potential produce 1,500 MW of power. The allocation of power through the northern grid to Delhi is 142 MW, Uttar Pradesh 221 MW, Rajasthan 112 MW, Himachal Pradesh 547 MW, Punjab 114 MW, Chandigarh 8 MW, Haryana 64 MW, Jammu and Kashmir 105 MW and Uttaranchal 38 MW.

Sources in the SJVN revealed that units were being run alternatively, and are made to generate power by storing extra water in the dam during the morning and evening hours. On an average, 7 million units of power are being produced from the units.

SJVNL authorities maintained that shutting down of power units during winter was a routine exercise. Still, every possible effort was being made to meet the demand of the northern grid by running the units with stored water.

In the meantime, the water discharge in the Satluj is likely to decline further for at least two months when the higher reaches of the state experience heavy snowfall during the winter months, consequently power generation is also likely to decline further, resulting in a power crisis in the north Indian states.