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Kerala stares at worst power crisis ever

  • Water level at Idukki reservoir the largest hydroelectric power project in the state is only 44% of its total capacity.
  • Usually, Idukki reservoir reaches its maximum water level during November-December.
  • Even a good amount rain during north-west monsoon will not be enough to fill the reservoir.
Severe power crisis looms large over Kerala
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With the rain gods playing tricks, Kerala, which depends heavily on hydroelectric projects to meet its energy needs, is staring at a severe power crisis. Water remaining in Idukki reservoir, which houses the largest hydroelectric power project in the state with a capacity of 780 MW, is only 44% of its total capacity. 

Low-water-level has affected power generation, and 4.2 million units (mu.)power was generated on Monday while it reduced to 2.12 mu on Tuesday. 

The data of Dam Monitoring and Research Station, Vazhathoppe, shows that water level in the reservoir was on the decline during October. Kerala recorded 30% shortfall in monsoon this year. 

In October, last year, the water level at Idukki reservoir stood at 60%. The water level at the reservoir was recorded as 2, 348.12 ft on Tuesday. An average of 0.2 ft decline in water level is being reported every day since the beginning of October. This is mainly because of poor south-west monsoon. However, northeast monsoon too has not gained strength yet. Usually, retrieving rain reaches the state by mid-October, but this year rainfall is very low. The evaporation rate is also high as the temperature is rising. 

Usually, water-level in Idukki reservoir reaches maximum during November-December. It is very rare for the water-level to start declining during October. 

The district received only 1, 497 mm rain during north-west monsoon this season while last year it was 1, 866 mm. Even if retrieving monsoon gains momentum, it won't be enough to fill the reservoir which is spread over a large area. 

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