Vijayawada: The Telangana state government has reduced hydroelectric power generation from the Srisailam plant by operating only one 150MW unit and producing 130 MW to 140 MW. This is seen as a strategic move to continue power generation despite stiff resistance from Andhra Pradesh and direction from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to stop power generation.
The Srisailam power plant has five 150 MW units, all of which were put into operation to generate about 750 MW per day. The water level in the dam fell to 808.89 feet (full reservoir level 885 ft), and storage went down to 33.64 thousand million cubic feet, or 15.59 per cent of the gross capacity of 215.81 tmc ft.
AP water resources authorities maintain that as the minimum drawdown level of water is fixed at 805 ft for Telangana state. As the water level is fast depleting, the TS government reduced power generation.
With no rainfall in the Krishna catchment areas located in Maharashtra and Karnataka, there is no inflow of water into the Srisailam reservoir. Rainfall received in parts of Telangana are helping the state fill up its reservoirs. It will release water downstream into Srisailam only after its reservoirs are filled to the capacity. Rainfall in Kurnool district is having no major impact for inflow of water into the reservoir at present.
Srisailam right bank power plant superintending engineer M. Srinivas said, “As water is depleting in the Srisailam reservoir due to withdrawal of water by Telangana for power generation and with no inflow of water, it is operating only one unit out of five and generating nearly 130-140 mw of power at present and this exercise will continue just for a few days until water level dips to 805 ft at the dam as it cannot draw water below that level.”
Meanwhile, water resources authorities say that Srisailam reservoir received surplus water for nearly 60 days during August and September last year causing them to release 600 tmc ft of water downstream by lifting the dam gates following good rainfall in catchment areas of the Krishna river.
They say that unless there is good rainfall in the Krishna river catchment areas in the days to come and Telangana projects on the river filled up to the capacity, Andhra Pradesh may not be able to get water into its projects and help farmers to take up cultivation of crops especially in parts of Rayalaseema area and also in command area along the river course.
Srisailam dam superintending engineer S. Venkata Ramanaiah said, “Telangana is drawing nearly 0.5 to 0.6 tmc ft of water from Srisailam dam for power generation per day even as the water level is very low and is getting depleted with no inflow of water. Unless there is good rainfall in the Krishna river catchment area, it becomes difficult for Telangana projects to get filled up so that it can release water downstream for AP projects to get filled up in the days ahead.”
On the other hand, the Telangana government stopped power generation from its plant from Nagarjunasagar project on July 10 and the same status remains unchanged as of now....