G. Mahadevan

CRIP denies electricity board’s charge

Board says CRIP not giving suitable locations

Think out of the box, suggests project official

Thiruvananthapuram: With space increasingly at a premium in the city, finding locations for transformers is becoming a ‘clash of wills’ between the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala Road Fund Board, which implements the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP).

While officials of the board say many transformers have been relocated far from the load centres and hence they do not have the desired impact, CRIP officials allege that the utility’s “inertia” prevents it from finding suitable locations.

An Executive Engineer of the board says the transformers at Panavila and opposite the Government Medical College Hospital are examples of how city planners want power supply without giving land for these devices.

While the board was pressured into removing the transformer at Panavila, the other one is “under threat of eviction.”

“We want transformers close to the load centres. Only if we transmit power at a high voltage can transmission loss be reduced. Consequently, we have to reduce the length of low-tension lines. We need to install more transformers for this. We need only about half a cent for installing a distribution transformer,” the engineer said.

Under the Interactive Perspective Planning Programme of the Electrical Division, Thiruvananthapuram, the board plans to install 68 transformers in the city this year. Their locations have been finalised, officials said. However, if the board does not get land in a suitable location, the installation of more transformers alone will not provide the desired impact on the power supply situation, engineers said.

Forty per cent of the planned installations have been completed. Two transformers, each of 100-kVA capacity, have been installed in the Thiruvallam section and one each will soon be set up at Thirumala, Thycaud, Peroorkada and Karamana. Sanction has been received for installing 17 transformers in areas in the Vattiyoorkavu electrical section. The problem of land may crop up at these locations too, the engineers said.

“We have acquired more than 30 sites in the city for relocating KSEB transformers,” a senior CRIP official told The Hindu here on Tuesday. “Why can’t the KSEB find land? The KSEB and for that matter everybody should stop thinking of roads as places where anybody can install anything and get away with it.”

The transformer at Panavila was installed right on the footpath, without permission from any agency, the official said. “It is the CRIP’s responsibility to ensure that nobody, including government agencies, encroach upon the road network in the city. There is a provision in the existing laws that allow the board to acquire land for essential purposes. Moreover, even the load centres can be shifted to a certain extent. The board should think out of the box for all this,” he added.