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Picturesque Gundala chosen for hydel plant

M. Malleswara Rao

Another unit under construction at Jurala project

HYDERABAD: The Krishna river offers a picture postcard landscape anywhere in its 1,200-km long course. But it is more bewitching at Gundala near the Nallamala forests in Mahabubnagar district where the river drops from a 10-ft height.

The mighty river's foamy fall would have made Gundala another Niagara or Victoria Falls but for the relatively smaller drop here.

The eye-soothing sight is an exclusive prerogative of cattle-grazers now.

Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation recently stumbled upon the site and decided to set up a 240-MW hydel station with Rs. 500 crores. Another plant of the same capacity is already under construction on the Jurala project which is hardly 20 km upstream from the Gundala upstream.

High potential

K. Venkatarama Reddy, APGenco Director, who played a role in conceiving the project, says: "It will be a case of killing two birds in one shot." What prompted the quick decision are Gundala's high potential and being free from inter-state or submergence problem.

Cheapest plant

Gundala will also be the cheapest plant with the installation cost being Rs. 2 crores per MW and selling price of Rs. 2 a unit. It will be enough if a weir is constructed across the river for the Gundala plant. Investigations are in full swing by Mat McDonald.

River course

The Krishna originates on the slopes of Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra and tumbles down over the steeply rising forests, cutting canyons in granite.

On its drifting journey through Karnataka, the rapids gain width and force before entering Andhra plains before joining the Bay of Bengal at Hamsala Deevi in Krishna district.

Nowhere does have the river such a drop like in Gundala.

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