Power shortage looms large as rains fail to pick up momentum

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has expressed concern over the considerable drop in rainfall in the catchment areas of the Idukki reservoir.

As on Wednesday, the cumulative rainfall received in the catchment areas so far was 468.2 mm, compared to 1,071.8 mm recorded in the southwest monsoon (since June 1) last year. There is a drop of 55 per cent rainfall in the catchment areas, raising concern over a likely power shortage if the situation continued, said a senior official.

He said it was only for the past five days that the southwest monsoon had actually hit the area. Even then, it had not kept the momentum and was without a major increase of water inflow in the Periyar, the main tributary. On Wednesday, the catchment area recorded a rainfall of 29.4 mm. The official said there was only 18.85 per cent of the total water storage in the reservoir.

Unless there is a marked increase in the rainfall, there will be a major setback on the power front. Power production at the Moolamattom power house was at a high and on Wednesday it recorded 9.35 mu. Though there is a fall in the level of power consumption, availability of power from alternative sources could not meet the shortage, resulting in an increased production and power consumption curbs in the form of load-shedding. If load-shedding is withdrawn, it will make an impact on the production level and subsequent water level.

The water level in the Idukki dam on Wednesday was 2,313.66 ft, compared to 2,318 ft the same day last year. The water level during the end of the last southwest monsoon had reached the brim and there were preparations to open the dam shutters to release water.

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