Sharavathi fire: Govt to form inquiry panel

Sharavathi fire: Govt to form inquiry panel

The State government will constitute a panel comprising senior officers from premier power companies to probe into the fire mishap at the Sharavathi hydroelectric plant near Jog Falls in Sagar taluk on Thursday.

The team will comprise officers from the Central Power Research Institute (CRPI), Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) and retired officials, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said here on Friday.

Speaking to media persons after visiting the plant, the minister said that the unit, which was contributing 23 per cent of power had come to a standstill due to the fire, thus bringing down the power generation by 750-800 MW per day.

According to sources, the loss incurred due to the mishap could be around Rs 100 crore. The minister said that the cost of production of power was was the lowest at Sharavathi plant, in the whole of South Asia. Therefore, the loss due to the fire cannot be compensated by any means as purchasing power from other sources is cost prohibitive.

“The power cables at the plant have been reduced to ashes. We have decided to modernise all the ten units of the plant with advanced technology taking safety measures on top priority and keeping next 100 years in view,” he added.

 The minister stated that the government has taken all measures to supply power to the entire State without any interruptions during summer. It has decided to purchase power from the Centre at Rs 4.50 per unit and from other sources at Rs 5.80 per unit. The power requirement of domestic and commercial consumers, including industries and farmers, will be met, he stated.

Shivakumar said other power generation units such as Linganamakki, Gerusoppa and Mahatma Gandhi  will be utilised to their maximum capacity to ensure that there was no shortage of power. He said the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) was also generating power to its capacity. However, water from river Krishna was not reaching the RTPS as farmers were drawing water mid-way and suitable measures had been taken to check the practice.

Reward announced

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar has announced a cash prize of Rs one lakh each to the four daily wage workers - Ramu, Mukhtiar, Chidambar Jain and Shamiulla - who risked their lives to rescue three engineers, Krishna Bhat, Balachandra and Joevelyn, trapped inside the plant during the mishap. They will also be recommended for the Shourya award, he said.

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