M. Malleswara Rao
HYDERABAD: Heavy rain lashing Andhra Pradesh has ensured several benefits, apart from filling the reservoirs for the fourth consecutive year.
Water availability has advanced the kharif in the rice granaries such as the Krishna delta by a month. With paddy plantation in full swing all over the State on time, the Government has set an ambitious foodgrains target for the year of 179 lakh tonnes.
A steep rise in power generation at hydroelectric stations, such as Srisailam, has come as a great relief to the thermal stations that were heavily strained due to non-stop operation for more than a year. A number of thermal stations have been backed down — a sort of holiday for them for overhauling.
The plants kept on outage included the I, II and VII units of thermal complexes at Muddanur, Kothagudam and Vijayawada. At AP Transco’s request, the NTPC’s Simhadri Project II at Visakhapatnam is being shut from Sunday.
The 1,000 mw loss following the closures is more than made up by the Srisailam dam — where nearly 1,400 mw out of the available 1,670 mw of capacity — is used continuously now.
The inflow into the Krishna from local sources alone is such that the storage in Srisailam reached 867 ft (885 ft FRL). The dam is expected to have two or three fillings this year, if heavy rains in the catchment area of Maharashtra and Karnataka are any indication.