Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Before becoming Orissa’s Energy Minister, S.N.Patro was a newspaper hawker by profession. After becoming the Minister, he poses to be an expert in electricity. And, so expertly he has managed his portfolio that Hydropower generation in Orissa is going to stop soon, even as thermal power generation has been halted at Talcher due to paucity of coal.

The reservoirs at all the Hydro-generation points have come down to the Minimum Draw Down Level. When the MDDL is 590 mt at Burla, the Reservior Level (RL) was 592.41 mt. on June 23 morning. It has further decline by the evening.

Power generation is proportional to quantity of water discharged (Q) and the force induced by the height of its fall on the runner blades. So a decline in Q is bound to restrict generation, which is happening at Burla.

Not only Burla, all the other Hydro-generation heads are showing the same symptoms. RL has already come down below MDDL at Balimela, Machhkund and Indravati.

MDDL is 1440.00 at Balimela where the RL now stands at 1439.00. Similarly, the RL at Machhkund stands at 2684.00 mt when its MDDL is 2685. At Indravati, the RL is 621 mt when the MDDL is set at 625 mt.

At Rengali and U.Kolab the RL become equal with the MDDL, which stands at 109.20 and 844 mt. respectively.

So, unless monsoon arrives immediately with supper heavy pours, there is no chance of power generation at these heads any more.

This precarious condition could not have developed had there been proper technical management of the Hydro projects in the state. But the beater of own drum minister has never paid any attention to this. After retirement of Er. B.K.Mohanty, since four years, there is no posting of a Technical Director in GRIDCO. And, consequently, no technical management of discharge to the heads.

Now whom to blame when generation halts?

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