Monday, November 29, 1999

Hydropower generation dips in Himachal, supply hit

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Shimla, May 16 (IANS) Hydro-electric power generation in Himachal Pradesh has suddenly dipped by 10 to 20 percent due to scanty rainfall in the past week, affecting electricity supply to northern states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, officials said Sunday.The power crisis would deepen if the dry spell continued for the next few days, the officials warned.'The entire northern states are likely to face electricity crisis as the power generation in all the 21 run-of-river projects run by state has come down in the past few days,' Suneel Grover, director at the state electricity board, told IANS.He said overall the generation has declined by 10 to 20 percent, resulting in a decline of 10 to 12 percent in the contribution of the state to the northern power grid.According to him, the generation at the 300-MW Baspa hydro project has come down to 39 lakh units per day May 14 against 73 lakh units May 5.He attributed the fall in the generation to low flow of water in the rivers and water channels.'During the last week the rainfall was scanty. Moreover, the temperatures were quite low at higher reaches, resulting in less melting of glaciers. All the run-of-river projects (both private and government) have been badly hit.''However, the projects which based on reservoir like the 1,500-MW Nathpa-Jhakri project are at present working at an optimum level. But continued dry spell would affect them too,' he said.He said the availability of power with the electricity board now is 183 lakh units per day. However, it was 257 lakh units May 5.'At present, the board has started imposing power cuts in all the industrial areas, including Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh,' he said.

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