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U'khand facing dry spell

Shishir Prashant  |  New Delhi/ Dehra Dun 

Uttarakhand is experiencing another dry spell during this winter season with the last two months going almost dry.

After the prolonged dry spell that badly hit the agriculture sector, the government has again sounded an alarm by declaring 16 tehsils in three districts - Tehri, Almora and Dehradun - as dry, with power and agriculture scenario all set to take a beating in the wake of the falling discharge in most of the rivers by 30 to 40 per cent.

The falling discharge in the big rivers is likely to hit agriculture in the nearby states like Uttar Pradesh, which are heavily dependent on the canals of big rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries.

The current discharge in Yamuna at Vikasnagar is eight cumax, which is 50 per cent less as compared to last year. Similarly, Bhagirathi at Joshiyara in Uttarkashi district has receded by 34 per cent. Owing to various factors including the cascading affects of the prolonged dry spell, power generation has also taken a plunge, falling by 20 per cent as compared to last year.

The power generation from Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL), having an installed capacity of 1,304 Mw, after touching 18 to 20 million units during the monsoon fell to eight million units yesterday, mainly due to the dry season. “Our power generation is falling,” confirmed Managing Director (MD) of UJVNL R P Thapliyal.

Industrial production in Uttarakhand is likely to be affected considerably owing to less power production. The Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has now urged the Centre to provide an additional 100 to 200 Mw power to meet the growing demand, especially in the wake of the Mahakumbh mela at Haridwar.

The demand of power in Uttarakhand has gone up to 25-26 million units from 17 million units per day this year due to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation among other factors.

Thapliayal said the power generation was likely to fall further in the next two months when the discharge in the rivers would be at the lowest.

When contacted, Met Director Anand Sharma said though Uttarakhand experienced good rainfall in October, the months of November and December had experienced below normal rainfall.

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First Published: Fri, December 25 2009. 00:38 IST