District Collector M. Beena has served stop memo to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in connection with the alleged illegal constructions carried out by the board in the 100 acres it had handed over for the proposed SmartCity Kochi project.
“KSEB has been asked to show cause about the illegal constructions on the project area within 24 hours,” Dr. Beena told the The Hindu on Friday. She said that a foundation construction had been found at the site.
Dr. Beena said that the stop memo was issued based on a complaint that SmartCity Chief Executive Officer Fareed Abdulrahman had given to Fisheries and Registration Minister S. Sarma, who is also the chairman of SmartCity Kochi. Mr. Sarma forwarded this complaint to the Collector with instructions to take necessary action after inquiring into the issue.
The Collector said that KSEB’s claim that the works were for drawing transmission line from its proposed 400-kV sub-station at Pallikkara had not been officially communicated to the State Information Technology Department.
She was non-committal when asked whether the revenue department would demolish constructions at the site on its own if the KSEB failed to respond within the stipulated time.
KSEB had handed over 100 acres of land, which was part of the 206 acres of its Brahmapuram Diesel Power Project, to the IT Department for the SmartCity project back in 2008.
Constructions at the project site were noticed on November 24. Significantly, a day before Power Minister A.K. Balan had told reporters that KSEB would demand the land back if the SmartCity Kochi project fails to take off. He said that the land so recalled would be utilised for the proposed Brahmapuram power generation project.
Soon after the issue of illegal constructions came up, KSEB clarified that the ground-strengthening work for putting up an electric tower was being misconstrued as illegal constructions.
The steel tower, KSEB maintained, was meant to support the power transmission lines of the proposed 400-kV sub-station to be located at Pallikkara a few kilometres away. The transmission line to the Kalamassery 220 kV station from Pallikkara would pass through the 100 acres of land which had earlier been meant to be transferred to SmartCity. The square base of the electric tower was made out for the ‘construction' of the proposed power plant, the board had said.