Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: The city dwellers might soon be forced to pray with folded palms or perform holy rituals, all for the deluge of unseasonal rain that lashed the city till recently. Reason: They might even prefer inundation to the encore of protracted power cuts.

With restrictions being imposed by the Irrigation Department on the hydel power generation and the increasing demand from agricultural connections, matching the means with the ends is going to be a tight-rope walk for the Central Power Distribution Company Ltd., in the coming days. Though there is no immediate impact on the city, the same is not ruled out in the coming days. “There should be either unseasonal rain , or a reduction in demand or advanced elections for the city to escape power cuts,” quips an engineer from the company. There might be a two-hour load relief to begin with, he says.

With reduced inflows into the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar reservoirs, Irrigation Department has imposed restrictions on the amount of water to be used for power generation. Though the reservoirs are full as of now, there are no excess inflows with which to produce power and the department wants to save the water for Rabi cultivation. “Despite the restrictions, special permission was sought to generate 2000 MW of hydel power on Saturday. We faced a precarious situation during the daytime, when hydel generation tripped to 585 MW. With two units taken for overhauling at VTPS and KTPS respectively, it becomes impracticable for us to depend wholly on thermal power,” disclosed an official. In addition, copious rain and the resultant swell in the water table have encouraged the tillers to sow paddy even under bore-wells, increasing the loads phenomenally.

The demand from CPDCL crosses 4200 MW without the existing load reliefs of 700 to 800 MW. Of this, the city’s share would be 1350 MW at the hour of highest consumption. With unusual temperatures in the city and the resultant use of AC units, power consumption in the current year has spiralled like never before.

As against the 13 to 14 million units during the same period last year, the consumption has scaled up to 15 to 17 million units now.

While the scheduled load for CPDCL is 2,600 MW, the actual loads far exceed the limit. A demand is to apply a separate schedule for the Greater Hyderabad region so that its loads would not interfere with or hamper the supply to rural areas.