As the drought, dubbed as the worst in the last fifty years, drained the hydro reservoirs making it hard for the electricity utility to meet peak consumer demand, the government stepped in saying it would pump in Rs. 3 billion to secure emergency power to shore up the national power grid.
Water inflows to the hydro reservoirs are at the lowest levels seen in the last fifty years. The local power grid depends in large part on hydro plants to meet the evening peak in demand.
rnThe state power monopoly, the CEB has procured some thermal power over the last few years but compared to hydro, thermal power is expensive.rn
rnThe national power grid now operates at almost full capacity in the evening and a failure of a single power plant could result in power cuts.rn
rnThe peak demand is around 1500 mega watts while the system has a 1550 mega watt capacity-too close for comfort according to experts.rn
rnThe power and energy ministry says the system has to operate at full stretch due to a severe droug