The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) might have termed the modernisation of one of its units as a major achievement, but the prolonged outage of Bhakra unit 2 has caused heavy losses to the board in terms of power generation and revenue.
Unit 2, which was shut down in April 2010, was supposed to be re-commissioned in November 2010. However, it was done in July this year after 39 months of outage.
Unit 5 was shut down in December 2010. The plan for its renovation, modernisation and uprating within the next seven months is yet to be completed.
As per the All India Power Engineers' Federation (AIPEF), the BBMB suffered losses of around Rs 70 crore during the current fiscal due to the outage of both units, which were earlier of 108-MW capacity (increased to 126 MW each).
"An additional generation of the order of 350 MU (million units), valued at Rs 70 crore, has been lost till date on account of delay in re-commissioning units 2 and 5," said Padamjit Singh, president of the AIPEF.
"Had units 2 and 5 been available from May onwards, there would not have been any risk of spillage/floods. Both units had not only led to usage of water to produce electricity but also helped to lower the water level in the dam, which is at a 40-year high," he said.
Despite several attempts, BBMB chairman AB Agrawal could not be contacted. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a board official admitted that the delay in the operation of these units had led to losses in power generation as well as revenue.