The Power Grid Corporation of India’s 400-kV transmission line between Kochi and Edamon, connecting Tirunelveli to draw power from the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, is yet to be completed. Though power generation from the nuclear plant has already commenced, Kerala is constrained to draw its share through a circuitous route now, resulting in transmission losses.
Talks held at the ministerial level to sort out the issue of acquiring right of way through private landholdings in districts such as Pathanamthitta and Kottayam have only been partially successful, according to sources.
Benny Behanan, MLA, who was involved in the talks convened by the Chief Minister in the past, said the issue was expected to be resolved soon. A senior Kerala State Electricity Board official told The Hindu that Kerala was receiving power from the nuclear plant through an alternative route, Tirunelveli- Udumalpet- Areekode- Madakkathara. It stretches about 250 km more in length in comparison to the Tirunerlveli- Edamon- Kochi- Madakkathara route.
The corporation has a 400-kV transmission station at Areekode, Kozhikode, on the Mysore-Areekode line. A 400-kV substation existing at Pallippuram, Thiruvananthapuram, will enable the State to have a 400-kV power highway once the Edamon-Kochi line gets completed.
The power highway will connect the State to the national grid, facilitating power transmission from various locations in the grid to satisfy Kerala’s needs appropriately.
The drawing of power from the Kudankulam nuclear power station was planned a decade ago. A route survey was conducted and the KSEB had proposed to have right of way along its 220-kV lines. The present crisis emerged after landowners joined together and protested against the new line and sought more compensation. The landowners suggested a route through Kuttanad, which was not acceptable to the authorities.