Committee visits site where KSEB towers are being built

The expert committee formed to recommend ways to resolve the dispute between SmartCity Kochi and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) over the construction of an electric tower on the land belonging to the former visited the site on Monday.

The team found that the overhead electrical line from the tower being erected by the KSEB passed through 122 metres of the SmartCity Kochi land.

It was also determined that the location of the tower being set up on the SmartCity Kochi site, is 38.6 meters away from the boundary of the KSEB property, revenue department sources told The Hindu.

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed said that the committee is expected to submit its report on August 13. Before filing the report the committee will hold a meeting in which KSEB and SmartCity Kochi representatives are required to air their positions.

The team is led by the electrical engineering department head of the Cochin University of Science and Technology C.A. Babu and include the representatives of SmartCity Kochi, KSEB, and revenue department.

The committee has been entrusted with assessing the damage to SmartCity Kochi due to the construction of the tower and drawing of power lines through its land by KSEB and recommending the extent of land the latter should give as compensation.

The Collector has already given conditional permission to KSEB using his powers as executive magistrate to construct towers and draw power lines through the SmartCity Kochi area.

However, no construction will be permitted on KSEB’s land at Brahmapuram adjoining the SmartCity Kochi site, which has been identified for compensating the IT Company, until a final decision is reached about the dispute based on the recommendations of the expert committee.

While KSEB claims that only 52 cents need to be given as compensation, SmartCity Kochi is of the view that it’s eligible for 1.7 acres. This disagreement has resulted in the issue remaining a festering problem.

The tower being constructed on the SmartCity Kochi project site is aimed at the transmission of power from the Power Grid Corporation’s 440kV substation at Paliakkara to the 220kV substation at Brahmapuram. Power lines will pass over 120 meters of the project site. KSEB pointed out that no other site was suitable for drawing the tower line.

KSEB had complained that it has to pay a monthly penalty of Rs. 60 lakh owing to the delay in drawing power from the Power Grid Corporation. The delay, KSEB said, will also further deepen the power crisis of the State.

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