Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that Kerala deserves an allocation of 500 MW of power from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), the 1,000-MW first reactor of which is due for commissioning soon.
Mr. Chandy wrote the letter last week in the context of a demand Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had placed before the Centre for the entire quantity of power to be generated at KKNPP for her State.
Without mentioning anything about Tamil Nadu's demand, Mr. Chandy told the Prime Minister that Kerala had already been allotted 266 MW of power from the KKNPP. This was under the Gadjil formula being followed for sharing power from Central power generating stations among the States of the region.
Mr. Chandy, in his letter, brought to the Prime Minister's notice the sacrifice Kerala had been making all along by not constructing dams across many of its rivers with potential to generate cheap electricity. Since the shelving of the plan for setting up a hydroelectric project in the Silent Valley way back in the 1970s due to environmental reasons, the State had received sanction for no hydroelectric projects.
Kerala had paid a huge “opportunity cost” for the sake of conservation and deserved to be suitably compensated for that. The opportunity to generate much more hydroelectric power than at present existed in the State, but the State could not utilise it because of the need to protect the forests of the country. The country as a whole should recognise this sacrifice on the part of Kerala by ensuring for the State sufficient allocation of power from Central power generating stations, Mr. Chandy said.
He also told the Prime Minister about the crisis the State was facing in the power sector at the moment. The crisis had necessitated the imposition of restrictions in power supply to all categories of consumers, he said.