Glacial melting goes up, so does power generation
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 5
With water discharge in rivers improving due to increased glacial melting, northern states reeling under acute power crises are likely to get some relief as generation in most power projects in Himachal Pradesh has picked up.

Scanty winter rain had affected power generation to a great extent and the discharge had been low on account of a delayed summer.

With temperatures soaring, glacial melting has gone up, increasing power generation at various projects.

Generation at the 1200-MW Nathpa Jhakri power project has gone up to between 300 and 330 lakh units per day.

A few days back, the generation was barely touching 250 lakh units per day.

Generation at Baspa, which had to undergo a forced shutdown on January 19 following damage to its port head yard, resumed generation on May 2.

At present, it generates about 40 lakh units per day.

Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and to some extent Haryana, hit by power shortage, are likely to get some relief.

Himachal Pradesh sells power to the northern grid through the Power Trading Corporation, from where most states in the region get power.

Generation at the Bhabha power project has gone up from about 10 lakh units to almost 20 lakh units per day due to rise in temperature, leading to faster melting of glaciers.

The state stands to gain as it gets 12 per cent free power from the Nathpa Jhakri project.

Generation has shot up at the Chamera I and II and Bara Siul projects to between 150 and 175 lakh units per day.

By this time of the year, Himachal Pradesh normally has ample surplus power, which as per its agreement with Punjab, is given to it.

As per this arrangement, Punjab supplies surplus power to Himachal Pradesh in winter when requirement goes up.

The improved generation at power projects will go a long way in improving the power situation in Punjab.

In case the temperature in Himachal Pradesh goes down due to rain, the accelerated pace of glacial melting will slow down, hitting power generation, which directly affects the states fed by the northern grid.

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