Updated: April 2, 2021 12:33:27 am
The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd(SSNNL) has shut down the 1200 MW capacity Riverbed Powerhouse (RBPH) of the Sardar Sarovar dam from April 1 as the level of the dam lowered to 125.57 meters from its maximum capacity of 138.68 metres.
Along with the closure of the RBPH, the SSNNL also opened the gates of the Garudeshwar Weir, located 12 kilometres downstream of the dam, thus causing the river to dry. The RBPH, after generating power, releases the water downstream, which is then held by the Garudeshwar Weir to allow the Ekta Cruise of the Statue of Unity to run.
The closure of the RBPH would also mean a break from the cruise service.
In a statement on Thursday, RD Bhatt Additional Collector, Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SoUTA), said that the suspension of the Ekta Cruise has been “planned” in advance in order to also allow the work to commence on the development of the Narmada riverbank from Shoolpaneshwar temple to Tyagi ghat as the ‘Narmada Ghat’ on the lines of the ghats along the River Ganga in Varanasi, where evening prayers are offered.
The statement said, “The Ekta Cruise has been functional continuously for six months and it is necessary to give it a break for maintenance work. The summer is the suitable time since it has been decided that from March 29 to April 15, less water will be released downstream to maintain the level of the river at 26 meters. The Ekta cruise bookings closed for this period in advance as it was reserved for maintenance activity.”
At present, the Narmada dam has a storage of 2,227 million cubic meters (MCM) and 6590 cusecs of water are being released into the canal. The RBPH and the Canal Head Power House of the Sardar Sarovar Dam generated close to 245 Million Units of power per month during their operation since the beginning of the water year in June last year.
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