The Collector will forward the report to the State government, which has to find a solution acceptable to both parties.
The expert committee appointed to look into the row between the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and SmartCity Kochi has submitted its report to the District Collector. The onus is now on the State government to find an amicable solution to the issue acceptable to both parties.
KSEB’s decision to construct an electric tower on the land belonging to SmartCity Kochi has resulted in a prolonged confrontation, with both parties differing on the mode and extent of compensation.
The expert committee headed by C.A. Babu, head of the electrical division of the Cochin University of Science and Technology’s School of Engineering, submitted its report to the Collector last week after hearing out the positions of both KSEB and SmartCity Kochi.
District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed told the Hindu that he will study the report and forward it to the State government along with his recommendations by Wednesday.
Mr. Pareed said that as per the expert committee report, power lines of a length of 222 metres pass over the SmartCity land. The actual width of the passing lines comes to about 11 metres. The total width, however, has been calculated as 25 metres, leaving seven metres on either side of the lines as safety precaution.
As per KSEB norms, it needs to compensate only for trees or vegetation removed along the 222-metre stretch through which the lines have been drawn. It further claims that future buildings need to be situated 16 metres away from the lines for safety.
SmartCity Kochi disagrees with this norm stating that as per international standards, electrical lines drawn at a length of 222 metres should leave 50-metres as safety width and not 25 metres. The company says the presence of high voltage electric lines in the vicinity will also pose a grave threat to any future buildings that will have highly sophisticated electronic equipment and hence it was not possible to compromise on the safety parameters.
SmartCity claims that it is eligible for 1.03 acres in compensation for the land consumed by KSEB’s tower and electric lines. However, KSEB is of the view that it need not give land in compensation as per existing norms, Mr. Pareed said.
The expert committee, he said, has not recommended exact compensation either in terms of money or land but makes a suggestion for an amicable solution based on the stated facts.