One more project, considered impossible, gets actualized in the state. It is the Edamon- Kochi transmission line project which got completed. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the Edamon- Kochi 400 KV transmission line at the event held at Adoor.
The completion of this project is also the historical moment which makes way for big leaps in the domains of power transmission supply and agriculture of the state. Owing to the staunch protests from landowners, Power grid Corporation had even decided at one point to leave the project, which had been delayed for long. Government brought the Edamon- Kochi 400 KV transmission line project to a success through its constant intervention in the project activities and allowance of an attractive compensation package.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE COMPLETION OF PROJECT
It was through a precise intervention that the Government brought back life to the project, which was even considered by the Power grid Corporation of India Ltd for abandonment at a point.
Supervisions and evaluation meetings conducted under the leadership of chief minister and minister for the concerned department.
Issues were resolved by including elected representatives.
Scrutiny by a group of higher-level officials headed by chief secretary till the completion of the project.
The cases related to the taking up of land were settled out of court, thereby gaining court’s approval.
The land price for deciding the compensation was settled as five times of the fair value.
Compensation was given for the trees and crops that had to be cut down at 46 m wide area and also for the 16m wide line corridor. The compensation was given without taking up the land, thereby sustaining the landowners’ ownership rights.
One lakh rupees was additionally sanctioned for the houses which come under the line, which are more than 340 in number.
Higher towers were built so as to reduce the number of trees cut down.
This line had been setup over 15 extra high tension lines with minimal obstruction to power supply.
A special task force was formed in KSEB to alleviate people’s confusions regarding the project and to coordinate the process.
Along with this, tahsildar offices were set up in 4 districts to make the evaluation and distribution of compensation faster.
Evaluation meetings conducted at higher level each month and timely interventions at crisis situations aided in the time-bound completion of the project.
In order to complete the project, a resettlement package of 256 cr was allocated to the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Ernakulam.
WHAT IS EDAMON- KOCHI 400 KV TRANSMISSION LINE?
With the completion of Edamon- Kochi 400 KV line (148.3 km), Tirunelveli- Kochi-Thrissur- Udumalpettu 400 KV power highway (437 km) has become materialized. With the supply of electricity through this line with 2000 Mega Watt transmission potential, a voltage increase of 2 KV at an average in transmission areas became possible. The power supply in interstate lines which used to bring in power at maximum potential such as Udumalpett- Palakkad, Mysore- Areekode, was reduced proportionately. On September 25, 2019, power supply began through this line which was planned to bring in Kerala’s share of 266 Mega Watt from Koodamkulam Nuclear Station at a minimal transmission loss. The main advantage with the completion of this line is that electricity can be supplied from anywhere in India through 400 KV transmission grid.
Kerala’s electricity production capacity is 2980 megawatt. However, the consumption of electricity has gone up to 4350MW. This deficit is managed by bringing the electricity that is available at low-cost from other states to Kerala. Central electricity control offices had put restrictions on bringing electricity from other states considering the lack of high-voltage electricity lines to Kerala. So far, the electricity importing capacity of Kerala was only 2920MW. Along with an increase in the capacity of line, with the completion of Tirunalveli-Kochi line, it is also possible to bring with reduced transmission loss the electricity available from other states at a lower price. Around 20MW (102 million units per year) was estimated to be the transmission loss while the 266MW electricity from Koodamkulam was brought through Udumalpettu before the completion of this line. This loss can now be avoided. The state faced the lack of 400MW electricity several times. Besides, the lines which were brining electricity from outside were nearing their full capacity. The 400 KV Edamon-Kochi line that is completed now is a permanent solution to all these issues.400/220 KV Multi-circuit line from Tirunalveli to Edamon was completed in 2010.
The 400 KV Edamon-Kochi line with 148.3 KM length and 447 towers passes through 4 districts, namely, Kollam (22 KM), Pathanamthitta (47 KM), Kottayam (51 KM) and Ernakulam (28 KM). The line which has 16 metre corridor has a 46 metre right of way. The permission for the project was given on 19-08-2005 and the construction of power grid after the completion of tender procedures was started in 2008 March. As the work was underway in full fledge, the project which was intended to be completed by 2010 was completely interrupted because of the strong protests from the property owners. After this government took office, construction work was completely resumed on 09.03.2017 which was completed on 14.09.2019.
BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT
With the realization of the state’s first 400 KV power highway which is the Tirunelveli- Kochi-Thrissur- Udumalpettu line, state’s capability to import power supply has increased. Also, it becomes possible to use the share from Central pool completely with precision. As a result the line availability is ensured and power distribution shall be uninterrupted during repair works. It becomes possible to reduce the congestion in the lines of Kerala – Tamil Nadu area. Transmission loss reduced significantly and supply of power in better voltage becomes possible. Distribution of power supply at a low rate and long time basis becomes possible. It will also be possible to build the required 400 KV substations (Kottayam, Edamon) for enhancing the transmission capacity. Also with the completion of Madakkathara-Kozhikode 400 KV line, the availability of electricity in the Malabar region will increase.