Delay due to local resistance: Aryadan Mohammed

The government will try to implement the Athirappilly hydroelectric project, on a consensus, without causing any damage to bio-diversity, Minister for Power Aryadan Mohammed has said.

Replying to questions in the Assembly on Tuesday, the Minister said the government would not implement the project using force. Preliminary discussions had been held to take all sections into confidence. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest had cleared the project thrice, but it was being delayed due to local resistance.

Clearance of the Ministry was not imperative for projects with an installed capacity below 25 MW. The government was keen on enhancing the capacity of hydel projects. It had been proposed to implement the Cheemeni power project as a joint venture with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). As part of the 100-day programme, the government intended to draw 11 kV lines spanning 1,000 km.

The power charge arrears of the Kerala State Electricity Board till March 31 had been pegged at Rs.1191.01 crore. This included the Rs.407.89 crore incurred by public sector undertakings (PSUs) and cooperative institutions, and Rs.589.26 crore due from private companies and individuals.

The power consumption of the State in 2006-07 was 14,580,30 million units. It rose to 17,749.72 million units in 2010-11. The Centre had not informed the State government of the mode of implementation the railway coach factory in Palakkad. As much as 479.27 acres of land had been acquired for the purpose, he said.

Minister for Industries P.K. Kunhalikutty said, 29 of the 36 PSUs taken up for performance review by the government had posted profit and seven were in the red. The government was taking steps to increase the tenure of the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project by two more years. Of the Rs.364.46 crore drawn from the budgetary allocation, Rs.313.82 crore had been spent so far, he said.

Sports Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar said the government proposed to conduct the National Games in the State by December 2012 or early 2013.