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Home News Power Sector News Flood: AP Genco needs Rs 100 crore to restore submerged Srisailam power station

Flood: AP Genco needs Rs 100 crore to restore submerged Srisailam power station

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SrisailamThe 770-MW right bank power station which has been inundated by the unprecedented floods at Srisailam in the last four days is still under water and is likely to be out of service for four months. On 2nd October 2009, SriSailam dam has seen a record inflow which has almost threatened the very existence of the dam. Anticipating trouble, the officials shutdown both the 770 MW power house on the right bank and also the 900 MW underground power house on the left bank of the reservoir on 1st October night itself.

According to senior officials, it would take at least another two to three days before they could think of taking steps to pump out water that has entered the power station since the inflows into the Srisailam continue to be around 10 lakh cusecs. According to them, the plant is inundated and is covered with sedimentation. Only after the water is pumped out, it would be possible to analyse the extent of damage and the time it would take to be fully restored.

The right bank power station has reversible turbines, generating units, auxiliary rooms, main control room, transformers and other equipment. When this plant got submerged in October 1998 when the Srisailam dam received over 7 lakh cusecs of water, it took about ten days for the AP Genco to pump out the water and over two months for the BHEL to salvage the equipment and restore it. The total cost incurred by the government at that time to restore the unit was over Rs 70 crore. This time, the cost is expected to be over Rs 100 crore and may take four months to restore it.

The then TDP government had come in for sharp criticism for its lack of foresight and failure to take precautionary measures to prevent the unit from getting damaged. Following the incident, the government on the advise of experts decided to construct a retention wall which is far beyond the power house building. However, the power house at Nagarjunasagar dam is safe and generating power. The present hydel generation is said to be around 3000 MW.

Meanwhile, power restoration works in the affected districts are on in full swing. The Transco is coordinating with all discoms and has deployed senior engineers to restore power in the affected villages. According to preliminary estimations, the total loss suffered by Transco on account of inundation of sub stations, damage to power lines and poles etc is around Rs 143 crore.

About 35 teams have been deputed for power restoration works. Except in water stagnated areas like Alampur and Gadwal, normalcy has been restored in almost all other areas of Mahbubnagar.

The Srisailam project began in 1960, initially as a power project, across the Krishna, near Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh. After several delays, the main dam was finally completed twenty years later in 1981. In the meantime the project was converted into a multipurpose one with a generating capacity of 770 MWs by its second stage which was expected to be completed in 1987. The dam is to provide water for an estimated 4,95,000 acres with its catchment area of 79,553 sq miles and water spread of 238 sq miles. Under the right branch canal 1,95,000 acres in Kurnool and Cuddapah districts will have assured irrigation. From the initial modest estimate of Rs. 38.47 crores for a power project the total cost of the multipurpose project was estimated to cross Rs. 1,000 crores in its enlarged form. The 470 feet high and 1,680 feet wide dam has alone cost Rs. 404 crores together with the installation of four generating sets of 110 MWs each. The right branch canal is estimated to cost Rs. 449 crores and the initial investment of Rs. 140 crores has been provided by the World Bank.

Source - Times of India

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