Skip to main content

Bharuch floods: Narmada waters could have been put to 'better use', generating Rs 85 crore

By Himanshu Thakkar*

One of the ways the Narmada waters in the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) could have been put to productive use, instead of draining them from the spillways, leading to major floods in Bharuch between August 29 and September 2, would have been by generating power by operating the 1200 MW River Bed Power House (RBPH) and 250 MW Canal Head Power House (CHPH) at full capacity over a longer period.
A perusal of the Narmada Control Authority’s (NCA’s) Daily Status Reports and Daily Plant Report of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) Power Houses tells us that till August 25, RBPH was generating zero power since July 14 and even CHPH generated no power even on August 25, and just 0.509 MU (Million Units), operating just one of the five 50 MW units for 11 out of 24 hours on August 26.
It was only by September 3 that both RBPH and CHPH started operating at full capacity. If SSD operators had started generating full power even from August 21 (in consultation with NCA and beneficiary states of MP and Maharashtra, they would not have said no to additional power that is rightfully theirs), SSP could have generated additional 283.85 MU in additional ten days, which would have meant additional value generation of Rs 85 crore, assuming price of Rs 3 per unit of power.
But for some strange, unknown reasons, water was not used productively, which would have also helped a step towards avoiding flood disaster in Bharuch.
Why did the SSP power units take over seven days to reach full load? The first unit of RBPH was started at 14.45 hours on August 26, as per NCA daily updates dated Aug 27, 2020. Thereafter slowly other units were started. All six RBPH units started operating for the first time at 0120 hrs on August 30, as per the power station NCA update of Aug 31, 2020.
However, the units were still not operating at full load. The units were operating around 160 MW load against its 200 MW capacity on August 30, August 31, September 1 (164 MW), September 2 (196 MW). It was only on September 4 when all six RBPH units were for the first time operating at or above 200 MW rated capacity, when the RBPH generation reached 28.538 MU as per NCA power plant update dates September 5, 2020.
On Sept 4, 2020, the RBPH discharge also reached a peak of 1,199 cumecs as reported by NCA Daily Status report of September 5, 2020. CHPH power generation reached a peak of 3.902 MU on September 1, and its discharge of 437.8 cumecs was also maximum during that period.
The big mystery is: Why did SSP power units take so many hours and days to reach peak load? The four retired officials’ note (published by Counterview), in their reply to my view (see Counterview), state: "In fact, Operation of River Bed Power House was started on August 26, 2020 and gradually stepped up to operation of all 6 turbines at I0.00 hours on August 30, 2020."
This is clearly wrong in many details, as usual, but agrees that RBPH took five days to start all six units (full load is a different matter). It should have taken no longer than an hour to ramp up all the units of SSP power houses. The delay of so many days not only meant lower power generation, but also additional floods in downstream areas.
Let us take note of the celebrated event of April 5, 2020 when this prowess of quick ramping down and up of hydropower projects was successfully showcased at national level.
On April 5, 2020, when following the Prime Minister's call for 9 minutes lights off at 9 pm, the sudden drop in power demand was 31,089 MW, and that ramping down of generation within minutes could be possible due to hydropower projects, as media reported quoting Union Power Minister, among others.
The demand then jumped by 28,001 MW in the next one hour. Both this ramping down and up, within minutes was possibly due to hydropower projects.
So the mystery of slow ramping of SSP power units remains unresolved.
--
*South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP), Delhi

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Govt of India 'compromising' on mandate to regulate gene technologies, protect nature

Counterview Desk  In a letter sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other related ministries and departments, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has raised "serious concern" over the guidelines notified for Genome Edited Organisms, in which major exemptions from regulations have been offered to certain categories of Genome Edited Organisms/Plants and products. A letter signed by Sridhar Radhakrishnan and Kapil Shah, co-convenors of the NGO network, addressed to Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, said, the Office Memorandum, dated May 17, 2022 of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology about Safety Assessment Guidelines, which follows the Office Memorandum dated March 30, 2022 of the MoEFCC, said, the move "essentially amounts to entry of risky GMOs through the backdoor. Text : Coalition for a  GM-Free India is a national volunteer-driven platform of hundre

A Marxian trend that queries undemocratic customs and traditions of capitalism

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  A very well-meaning comrade called me a pluriversal Marxist with a wild smile full of English irony, while chairing my book release function in the Marx Memorial Library, London. I dedicate this piece to her… There is no other philosopher who is more abused and misunderstood like Marx. There is no other philosophy like Marxism which is more demonised on a regular basis. The mindless vilification campaign against Marx and Marxism continues without any form of reason. The propaganda and portrayal of Marxism as a devilish doctrine signify its importance as a philosophy of human emancipation from the very forces who demonise it. Marxism is a philosophy of praxis which helps us to understand the centrality of creative power of labour in producing socially meaningful value. It helps us to analyse the laws governing production, distribution, consumption, exchange, market, profit, pricing and private property in the development of class-based society. As a humanist p