A persistent drought is having a grave impact on India’s power plants as many of the country’s dams have run dry in recent weeks.
Tehri hydroelectric dam
The Tehri hydroelectric power dam, India’s tallest, has no usable water in the large reservoir behind it while other dams are also experiencing similar scenarios.

Weekly data on 91 large reservoirs, posted on Thursday by the Central Water Commission, shows that the Tehri dam on the branch of the upper Ganges called the Bhagirathi is now holding zero per cent of its “live” or usable storage capacity of 2.6bn cubic metres. When operational, the dam can produce 1,000 MW of electricity.

Piyush Goyal, power minister, told parliament that several of India’s thermal power stations, most of which burn coal, had also been forced to shut down for lack of the water needed for cooling and other systems.

He insisted that India still had sufficient electricity supplies overall to serve the country’s 1.3bn inhabitants, in spite of shutdowns at power stations such as the 1,130MW Parli power station in the drought-affected Beed district of the western state of Maharashtra.

The first rains of the 2016 season are not expected to reach southern India for another month.

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