Thodupuzha: In an alarming indication of the hard days ahead, water reservoirs in Kerala are fast drying up, with 45 days still left for the monsoon to set in. In the reservoir of Idukki, the state's largest hydro-electric project, the storage is as low as 20 percent.
Water left in the state's reservoirs can produce just 1,004 million units of electricity. Kerala needs 72 million units on an average every day. The demand is met by importing 55 million units of power from other states.
Switch it off! Power tariff goes up in Kerala
Idukki dam's storage can help with only 446 million units. Water level remains at 24 percent in the state's reservoirs. Pampa has water to generate 212 million units; Kuttiyadi, 78 million units; and Edmalayar, 77 million units.
Rest of the reservoirs too are reeling under severe water shortage. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) says the state has to survive the summer with the output from these projects. However, officials at KSEB warn that there could be a crisis if monsoon gets delayed.
The first stage of renovation work at Moolamattom power station will begin early June. That would reduce the state's production by 390 MW. This would mean increased production and import to offset the shortfall. However, an increase in import has multiplied the KSEB's debts. The board hopes to overcome this crisis with the increased power tariff that takes effect from Tuesday.