Massive electricity infrastructure upgrade work under way in north Chennai, more in the pipeline

Tangedco has submitted a proposal to the government to shift overhead power cables underground running to a length of 1,300 km in Tondiarpet and Vyasarpadi at a cost of ₹635 crore through funding from German bank KfW

September 21, 2023 05:44 pm | Updated 05:45 pm IST - CHENNAI

Tangedco has proposed to shift overhead cables underground at several places in north Chennai to improve power supply.

Tangedco has proposed to shift overhead cables underground at several places in north Chennai to improve power supply. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Several localities in north Chennai have been suffering from inadequate electricity infrastructure when compared to southern areas for several years. Things are at last changing for better as Tangedco has been improving the electricity distribution network by installing new ring main units (RMUs), converting old distribution transformers to RMUs, commissioning of new substations, erection of distribution transformers and shifting overhead cables underground.

All these works have been executed by Tangedco under the North Chennai Valarchi Thittam covering the localities of Egmore, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar (TVK Nagar), Harbour, Kolathur, Perambur, Pulianthope, Tondiarpet, Vyasarpadi, and Sowcarpet. 

A senior official of Tangedco said power cuts were normally reported due to outdoor structure failure of distribution transformers of insulator flashover, failure of AB switch boxes, and jumper cuts. As part of improving the electricity supply, it was proposed to commission new RMUs to prevent electricity supply disruption. Particularly north Chennai being crowded with residential areas, narrow roads and the difficulties in carrying out rectification of any burst of underground cable, and drawing on the experience of Chairman Rajesh Lakhoni who had served as Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner, several electricity infrastructure work were planned. 

Under the electricity improvement project, Tangedco having commissioned a 110/33-kV substation at Arasur in Ponneri at a cost of ₹19.78 crore and adding a power transformer to the Gummidipoondi Sipcot substation, new substations have been proposed at Barracks Road, SPR City, TVK Nagar and Parry’s Corner, at a cost of ₹112 crore. Two substations at Egmore and B and C Mills have been proposed to be upgraded from 33 kV to 110 kV at a cost of ₹91 crore. 

Tangedco has already installed 80 RMUs in the past few months in various parts of north Chennai. It now proposes to convert old distribution transformers with new RMUs in 120 places covering Flower Bazaar, Park Town, Seven Wells, Kondithope, Sowcarpet, Nammalwarpet, Cooks Road, Pulianthope, Kilpauk, Periamet, Egmore, and Kelly’s, at a cost of ₹20 crore. A total of 1,024 RMUs have been commissioned in north Chennai alone, the electricity official said.

Tangedco, as part of the improvement work, would be erecting 40 new distribution transformers, upgrade some transformers, and shift overhead (OH) lines underground network running to a length of 650 km in Perambur. A similar proposal had been submitted to the government for Tondiarpet and Vyasarpadi at an estimate of ₹635 crore covering a length of 1,300 km through funding from German bank KfW. 

To ensure the safety of the consumers and to avoid accidents in areas identified as prone to water stagnation, Tangedco has raised the height of the pillar boxes at 1,075 places. Also under the mass maintenance programme in north Chennai circle, more than 1,050 poles were replaced, tightened low sagging overhead cable and completed maintenance of 530 pillar boxes. 

The senior electricity official said all these infrastructure improvement work had resulted in Tangedco maintaining uninterrupted power supply during summer.

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