Kerala

Power corridor to give safe passage for wildlife

The 400-kV Edamon-Kochi power transmission corridor has been designed in a manner that ensures safe passage for elephants and other wild animals that are often endangered by low-hanging wires passing through dense forests.

Addressing the Gentle Giant Summit, a three-day conclave on Asian elephants, here on Saturday, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Deputy Chief Engineer G. Sreenivasan said that the transmission towers for the project had been specially erected with the lowest bare conductor drawn up to 44 m above ground level.

“This is in contrast to the existing transmission lines that have been drawn through forested areas where the ground clearance of the conductors is only around 8.75 m, the minimum requirement stipulated in the Indian Electricity Rules,” he said.

He said that while increasing the height of transmission towers would incur high installation costs, the burden of which could be transferred to consumers, the design is bound to facilitate safe passage for wild elephants.

Solar fences

Mr. Sreenivasan added that the company encouraged the public to erect solar-powered electric fences over high-voltage electric fences to ward off wild elephants. However, the comparatively high expenses for erecting solar-powered electric fences have prompted many residing on the periphery of forest areas to opt for the conventional ones, which have resulted in several elephants being electrocuted.

The summit was formally inaugurated by former Forest Minister Binoy Viswam, MP, on Friday. State Police Chief Loknath Behera also spoke on the occasion.

Delivering a presentation through videoconference, noted ecologist Raman Sukumar, Professor, Centre for Ecological Science, IISc, Bengaluru, stressed on the role of elephants in carbon sequestration.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 3:28:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/power-corridor-to-give-safe-passage-for-wildlife/article29994495.ece

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