Electricity Minister A. K. Balan has said there would be no load-shedding, power cut and electricity tariff hike in the State next year.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Barapol small hydroelectric project (SHP) at a function at Palathumkadavu here on Saturday, the Minister said that Kerala had been a model for other States in fixing electricity tariff structure.

The government was taking steps to ensure that the State would be free from any electricity crisis in the next 25 years. Twenty-three lakh new electricity connections had been given since the Left Democratic Front government came to power, he said. During the past four-and-a-half years 17,000 transfers had been installed, the Minister said, adding that there would be no voltage fluctuation problem in future.

The Minister also said that the government was planning for total electrification in at least 100 Assembly constituencies in the State.

He also said that no industrial unit in the State would be closed down because of any decision on the part of the Kerala State Electricity Board. The board had overcome its phase of hardship, he said.

Mr. Balan said that the Barapol SHP was not just a hydel project as a Malampuzha-model tourism project for the SHP was also in the pipeline.

The SHP with an installed capacity of 15 MW will tap hydroelectric power from the Barapol river, a tributary of the Valapattanam river at Palathumkadavu at Ayyamkunnu panchayat here. The first hydroelectric project to be developed in the district, it will include two trench weirs being developed in the river, an intake pool, power duct, de-silting tank, the power channel having a length of roughly 3 kms, a circular forebay tank, three pen-stock pipes and three turbines with 5 MW capacity each as its main components. The power generated from the project will be transmitted from the power house to the 110 kv substation at Iritty.

The entire Malabar region will benefit from the project with the capacity of generating 36 million units of electricity a year. The project will be completed in 30 months. Its estimated cost is Rs. 138.44 crore including civil construction works estimated at Rs. 74 crore.

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