The Water Board is planning to go in for a dedicated power line so as to surmount the problems caused by frequent power interruptions. The Board has written to the government in this regard as the dedicated line is expected to cost Rs. 9.5 crore.
The Board has also taken up the matter with the APCPDCL and is exploring various options to mobilise funds. If the government doesn't provide the money, the Board might use part of its annual budget to fund the dedicated line. “By next summer we will definitely have a dedicated power line,” says M. Jagadeeshwar, managing director, HMWSSB.
The Water Board gets an annual budget of Rs. 432 crore, of which Rs. 250 crore is set apart for the Godavari project. The remaining Rs. 182 crore is sanctioned in four quarters. But for want of funds during 2009-10 the Board got only two-quarter grant and this year three quarters. It is a tightrope walk and therefore the Board feels the government should foot the bill for the dedicated power line.
Though the power interruptions are not unusual, they are more pronounced during summer. There were four interruptions of longer duration last week. On May 9, the Krishna phase-I system at Godakondla experienced power interruption for 17 hours. The next day it was for 24 hours. On May 11 the power disruption lasted for three hours and five minutes followed by twelve-and-half hours on May 14.
During the week between May 2 and 8 also there were power interruptions on Krishna, Singur and Manjira systems. Though the Board has an installed capacity of 340 mgd, last week it could supply an average of 337 mgd only. On some days the average supply is even less – just 332 mgd. “Though we have enough water our pumping efficiency is coming down due to power interruptions,” says Mr. Jagadeeshwar.
There are eight pumps at Godakondla and each pumps about 11 mgd water. Even if the power supply is affected by just five minutes it causes a setback of four hours in pumping operations. To recommence the pumping operations it takes lot of time, it is said. Electrical repairs and load shedding for maintenance also poses a problem. Not just transmission of water at source, the internal distribution is also thrown out of gear by power failures. Most of the distribution network is dependent on pumping on the 300 odd booster stations.