Is Hirakud being throttled to benefit industries?

Hirakud: Sharp decline in power generation at Hirakud Hydroelectric Project is raising quite a few questions.

Though only four out of the seven units of the project are functional, their generation capacity is at least 149 Mega Watt (MW) electricity on a daily basis. Surprisingly, only 40 MW power is being generated, which has stoked suspicion that the water is being deliberately reserved for industrial use.

Water rights activist Ranjan Panda alleged government conspiracy behind the matter as adequate amount of water is present in the dam for power generation.

“The water is being reserved for industries. The government, to provide water to the industries, is deliberately cutting supply of water to hydropower project,” said Panda.

Farmer leader Ashok Pradhan echoed similar views.

“The government has been allocating water to industries and continues to do so clandestinely. The motive of the government should be exposed,” said Pradhan.

“The daily power generation amount is decided by the State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC). Therefore, even if sufficient water is available in the reservoir, the power will be generated as per the instructions of the SLDC,” said General Manager (Electrical) of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd, Gyana Ranjan Das.

“We are capable of generating the required amount of electricity but it  is done as per SLDC instructions,” Das added.