Six main power-generating turbines of the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in Narmada district have remained non-operational for the last two weeks, producing zero electricity due to very less rainfall in the catchment areas of the dam. All six riverbed power house of 200 MW capacity ground to a halt on June 7 and have not resumed operation yet.
This is the first time in several years that all six turbines of the 1,200-MW riverbed power house have remained out of operation for two weeks at a stretch, officials of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) said, adding that the status quo will be maintained until the level of water improves from the current 114.46 metres.
During the same time last year, nearly all turbines were in operation due to early arrival of monsoon rains, they said.
The decision to shut down the turbines was taken after consulting the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), officials said. Incidentally, the NCA had on June 12 approved the proposal to raise the dam’s height from the current 121.9 metres to 138.7 metres.
“We have kept all six turbines shut since June 7 and will start them only when the water level rises. Generally, during summer, we operate these turbines for a few hours every day, and as water level improves with the arrival of monsoon, all the turbines get operational by this time of the year,” an SSNNL official said.
As much as 57% of the electricity generated by the dam is supplied to Madhya Pradesh, 27% to Maharashtra and 16% to Gujarat.
“We occasionally run the 250-MW Canal Head Power House and five 50-MW mini hydro power generators, for a few hours in a day, but do not operate the riverbed power house in order to preserve the water level in the event the rain gets delayed further,” the official said.