Electricity Minister A.K. Balan will inaugurate the work on the Barapol small hydro-electric project at Palathumkadavu on November 20.

The project, with an installed capacity of 15 MW, will be set up on the Barapol river, a tributary of the Valapattanam river, in Ayyamkunnu panchayat. The first hydro-electric project in the district, it is being implemented with minimum environmental impact, an official press release said.

The installed capacity of the project has been fixed on the basis of the measurement of the rainwater in the catchment area totalling 260 sq km. As the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka is located on one of the banks of the river, steps were taken to ensure that construction activities would not affect the wildlife.

The project includes construction of two conduits below the riverbed for diversion of water to the power house. The main components of the project are two trench weirs being developed in the river, intake pool, power duct, de-silting tank, the power channel having a length of roughly 3 km, a circular forebay tank, three penstock pipes and three turbines with 5 MW capacity each. This is the first small hydro-electric project in South India based on this new technology, the release said.

After generating power, the water diverted for the project would be discharged into the river. The power would be transmitted from the power house to the 110-kV substation at Iritty. The entire Malabar region would benefit from the project.

The estimated cost of the project, which is expected to be completed in 30 months, is Rs.138.44 crore including civil construction works estimated at Rs.74 crore.

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