few years the canals are not supposed to be in operation. Once the canals start functioning, however, the SSP will require vast quantities of energy.
The Gujarat State Narmada Minister, Shri Babubhai Patel recently admitted that more than 60 MW will be required for lifting water in the canals in Saurashtra and Kutch (Patel 1992). Thus, the canal system itself will consume most of Gujarat's share of firm power. Furthermore, the SSP plans require 3 MAF of groundwater to be annually pumped into the canals to augment the Narmada waters in the command. SSP plans call for installing thousands of irrigation-only, drainage-only and irrigation and drainage tubewells all over the command. The power required for operating all these tubewells has not been calculated in any project document, but the amount is likely to be quite large.Supplying drinking water to 8215 villages and 135 towns, as claimed by the authorities, is going to require large expenditure of energy for pumping and maintaining flows in very long pipelines. Again, there is no estimate of the energy likely to be required for this component.
These power costs have not been included in any cost-benefit analysis of the SSP. Power benefits in the initial years contribute very significantly to the overall benefits of the SSP - including the power costs would probably push the cost-benefit ratio for the SSP below the level of acceptability.
Thus, the highest power produced by the SSP is 439 MW, which will drop to only 50 MW at full development of the canal system. Thus capacity utilization will be very low. The power generation is likely to be reduced by as much as 28% since the NSP will not be constructed in time to provide graduated releases for power generation. The SSP will consume more power than it generates for Gujarat, and may even consume more power than will be generated by the project as a whole. The power consumed by the SSP has not been factored into any cost-benefit analysis.