Power crisis looms over Jharkhand, Delhi, Kolkata and Kerala as the Maithon Power Limited (MPL) may cut electricity supply due to depleting water level in its dam near Dhanbad.
The plant supplies 300 mw power to Jharkhand through the Damodar Valley Corporation, 300 mw to Delhi, 300 mw to West Bengal and 150 mw to Kerala every day.
The reservoir level at 15,712-ft-long and 165-ft-high Maithon dam has declined to 462 acre feet from 480 acre feet in November in 2014, MPL manager (reservoir operation) SK Majhi said on Monday.
“Per day water inflow into the dam is up to 230 acre feet while 400 acre feet is released to West Bengal for drinking purpose. Besides, 15 million gallon potable water is supplied daily to Dhanbad township,” he said.
“If water continues to recede in Maithon dam, power generation from MPL will be affected by January or February,” said K Chandrashekhar, director-cum-chief executive officer of MPL, a joint venture of Tata Power (74%) and DVC (26%).
The plant requires 50,000 to 55,000 cubic metres of water per day from Maithon dam to generate 1050 mw power from its two units.
“We have informed the Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee, Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Union energy ministry about the water crisis in Maithon dam which may lead to breakdown in power generation at MPL,” said a top manager of the plant.
Water levels in almost all dams and reservoirs of the state have gone down this year due to an erratic monsoon. Jharkhand faced 17% monsoon deficit but rainfall deficiency was 34% in August and 59% in September. Parts of Ranchi now get drinking water thrice a week due to decline in water level at Hatia dam.
Apprehending water crisis, the MPL management sent a high-level team on Monday to Jhumri Tilaiya dam of DVC to assess its reservoir level. Tilaiya dam has stopped releasing water to Maithon dam for the past one week, according to official sources.
An MPL official said a report would be sent to the union energy ministry and CWC urging for water release from Tilaiya to Maithon dam.
Shrinking water level at Maithon dam is also set to affect drinking water supply to 5 lakh residents of Dhanbad township. Topchachi Lake and Maithom dam cater to drinking water requirement of 29 lakh people in Dhanbad city.
Power generation in MPL: 1050 mw per day
Delhi gets: 300 mw
Power supply to Bengal:300 mw
Supply to Jharkhand: 300 mw (through DVC)
Kerala gets: 150 mw