Special Correspondent

No maintenance done: union

Proper communication facilities sought

Demand to include CEA experts in inquiry panel

Kochi: The Kerala Electricity Employees’ Confederation (INTUC) has urged the State government to get the service of experts in the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and check the conditions of power houses and dams in the State.

At a press conference, K.P. Dhanapalan and M.S. Rawather, working president and general secretary respectively of the confederation on Saturday, said the previous UDF government had utilised the service of CEA experts to study the condition of a sluice valve of the Idukki Hydroelectric project.

The former Power Minister G. Karthikeyan had sought their service in view of the opinion that there was a leak in one of the valves of the project.

Bad condition

In fact, the Chenkulam, Sholayar, Sabarigiri, Kuttiyadi and Neryamangalam hydro-electric projects and other power houses were in a bad condition, they said.

There had been no maintenance or monitoring. Earlier, there were maintenance divisions attached to the power houses and dams.

Later, the divisions were closed down. As a result, prompt maintenance and monitoring of the projects came to a halt, the leaders alleged.

They said the penstock pipes were laid through thick forests.

The personnel had no facilities to communicate with those working at the valve house, intake gates and power houses.

They demanded that communication facilities be put in place at these sites. They alleged that it was unfair to include the Chief Engineer of the power generation station at Panniyar in the committee constituted to probe the Panniyar tragedy.

The union leaders demanded the inclusion of CEA experts in the committee. They also sought installation of safety systems as suggested by the Central Dam Safety Organisation.