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Above-normal rains in June have helped hydropower stations to step up production, easing concerns caused earlier by scanty showers in April and May, and a low-snowfall winter.
In the first two-had-a-half months of the current financial year that began in April, hydropower generation was 7.5% less than the target — 25,771 million units against the aim of 27,864 million units — due to low levels of water in the dams and rivers.
But the situation has now changed, with rains lashing several states in the North and monsoon covering most of the southern region.
Earlier, power production had come down 11.5% in April and May compared with the same period last year.
“The generation is affected in projects located in North by low rains but arrival of monsoon is expected to increase water levels in the rivers,” an official of state-run hydroelectric company NHPC said. Production had been as much as 25% less than a year earlier at NHPC’s plants in the April-May period.
At projects run by SJVNL, a joint venture between the central government and Himachal Pradesh, production had shrunk to half. Falling water levels at reservoirs had affected irrigation and power generation in projects run by BBMB as well. It had hit sowing of crops and availability of power in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
“Hydropower availability had come down by 54% in Punjab in last two months,” an official of Punjab State Power Corporation said. It had increased load shedding in summer months, he said.
Generation of hydropower is expected to peak in the coming weeks as monsoon advances to more states. Above-normal rains have been recorded in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra since the arrival of monsoon on the southern coast in late May.
However, below-normal rains this month have affected power generation in Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Rains were as much as 60% less in January and February, which had also affected the water levels in dams.
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