Water scarcity forces shutdown of 4 RTPS units

Water scarcity forces shutdown of 4 RTPS units

River Krishna dries up; Power generation decreases by 880 MW a day

The drastic decrease in the water level of River Krishna has affected power generation at the Raichur Thermal Power Station. Four units have stopped functioning due to scarcity of water, bringing down the power generation by 880 MW a day.

The eight units of the RTPS, with an installed capacity of 1,720 MW, require one lakh cubic meter of water a day for their optimum operation. The water availability, at present, has come down to only 2,000 cubic meter. A jackwell has been constructed in the river exclusively to draw water for the power station. With the drying up of the river, the water level in the jackwell is at its minimum.

The problem could have been more acute but for the measures taken by the RTPS authorities. The power generation was sustained for 20 days after an enclosure of sand bags was put in the river to store water.

The Karnataka Power Corporation authorities wrote to Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam with a request to release water into the river from Narayanapura reservoir. The Nigam released two tmc ft water with which the power generation units were kept running for another 15 days.

Units 3, 6,7 and 8 have now been shut down for want of water. Bhaskar, Executive Director, RTPS, told Deccan Herald that units 7 and 8 which generate 210 MW and 250 MW respectively were shut down on Sunday night. Units 6 and 8, each of 210 MW capacity were shut down on Monday.

Power is now being produced at units 1, 2, 4 and 5, each of 210 MW. The RTPS meets 40 per cent of the power demand in the State. Sources said the situation may turn grim in the next two days and the remaining four units too may stop production in case of non-availability of water.

The drying up of River Krishna has affected around 5,000 staff of the RTPS residing at Shaktinagar. So is the fate of Raichur town which has a population of about three lakh. Seventy per cent of the water requirement of Raichur is met by Krishna.

The requests to the authorities of Narayanapura and Almatti reservoirs to release water into the river, are yet to be acted upon. Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommaih, during his recent visit to Raichur had declared that RTPS won’t face water scarcity till May 31. The claim now doesn’t hold water.

Prohibitory orders

The district administration has restricted the farmers on the river basin from drawing water from Krishna. In a press release, Radhakrishna Madankar, Special Deputy Commissioner, has stated that 1,000 cusec of water has been released into the river from Narayanapura reservoir.

The restriction is to ensure that water reaches the RTPS. Prohibitory orders have been clamped under Section 133 CrPC in Lingasugur and Deodurg taluks (on the river basin) to maintain law and order, the press release said.

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