KOCHI: According to KSEB chairman N S Pillai, the Board has suffered a loss of Rs 180 crore during the first 15 days after the flood water entered the generators. The Board’s daily power generation plummeted from 65 million units to 42 million units during this period. “We are incurring a loss of 280 MW per day as our major generation units like Poringalkuthu, Panniar and Nilambur have been shut due to the accumulation of mud in the generators. It will take three months to restart Poringal generators. Lower Periyar generators have been cleaned, but we need one month to clean the tunnel. There’s no approach road to reach Vellathooval,” he said. Kerala Dam Safety Authority (KDSA) chairman C N Ramachandran Nair said, “We have directed the officers in charge of dams to inspect the damage caused to them and hydel projects due to the floods. Many generation units are at risk as they are located at low level making them susceptible to floods. After receiving the report, we’ll inspect the dams and recommend remedial measures,” he said. Refuting allegations that it was the release of water from dams that triggered the floods, he said though release of water from the dams has contributed to the floods, it was the heavy rains that inundated Kerala.
“We’re maintaining the system in a very bad condition. Time is ripe to take up a massive modernisation drive in the KSEB,” he said.
Meanwhile, activist C R Neelakantan alleged it was the failure of the government to manage the situation that led to the floods.
“The KSEB is interested only in power generation and they ignored the crucial role of dams in flood management,” he said. “When there was a conflict of interest, it was the duty of the government to assert itself and manage the situation so that the life and property of the public is not put to risk. While releasing water, the KSEB was not sure about the damage it would unleash. The government is still not sure which department has to manage floods,” he said.