DUSHANBE, April 11, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Water levels in the reservoir powering the Norak hydroelectricity power plant (HPP) are currently at 856.86 meters, which is lower than the minimum level set at 857 meters, Nozirjon Yodgori, a spokesman for Barqi Tojik power holding, told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon.

“In the meantime, water flow in the Vakhsh River is increasing and Monday morning it was 339 cubic meters per second,” said the spokesman, “However, it is still low compared with 681 cubic meters per second this time last year.”

We will recall that in a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, Minister of Energy and Industries Gul Sherali said on April 7 that a lack of water in reservoirs is responsible for the rationing of electricity in Tajikistan.  According to him, the water level at the Norak HPP has fallen to a critically low level, which is the main reason Tajikistan cannot generate enough electricity for the country.  Gul Sherali added that the unseasonably cold weather has delayed the melting of the mountain snow, which accounts for the reduced flow of the Vakhsh River.

Electricity rationing is usually introduced in Tajikistan in November and lasts through April next year.  Measures seeking to curb the country’s rising electricity consumption are usually introduced in all regions except Dushanbe.  In addition to curbing rising consumption, the move also stems from a decline in the water level in the Norak reservoir.

This year, electricity rationing was imposed on the Tajik capital as well.  Since March 25, electricity supply to residential customers in some areas of Dushanbe has been cut off from 24:00 to 5:00 am; there are no limitations on power to strategic buildings in the city.  In the meantime, power to other parts of the country is distributed sporadically.