All six units of the Parli thermal power plant in Beed district of Maharashtra have been shut down because of severe water shortage in the Marathwada region. The plant used to receive water from the Khadka dam but the supply was stopped as the water level in the dam has almost dried up.
"Due to water shortage we had to shut down the plant. 1160 MW energy was generated by the plant. Two units were shut in October last year and all the six units were shut yesterday," said MM Chavan , chief engineer of the plant.
The power plant has an installed capacity of 1130 MW.
Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan had said last month that the water supply to the plant could be stopped because of severe shortage of water and the plant could be shut down.
Over 12,000 villages in 16 districts of Maharashtra are in severe grip of water scarcity and that includes the whole of Marathwada region. Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed and Osmanabad are facing the worst crisis. So are some districts in western and north Maharashtra. All the natural sources in these areas have dried up, and the water levels at the reservoirs have dropped to an all-time low.
With such water scarcity, the question of supplying water to agriculture and industry is not even being discussed. The state has requested the Centre for financial aid to ward off the grave crisis. The state asked for a relief package of Rs 2,400 crore but received only about Rs. 780 crore. The government has already pressed the panic button and all sources for getting water are being taken over - be it private wells or handpumps. Even neighbouring states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been asked to help provide water to nearby districts.