Kerala

Unions root for hydel option

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Say the State should be made self-reliant by raising internal generation in an eco-friendly manner.

While there is a wide swathe of opinion against any new hydel power generation project, the trade unions associated with the KSEB think it is the best option.

According to INTUC State secretary P.S. Prasanth, renewable energy options are inconsistent and cannot be relied upon to meet the ever-increasing demand for power. Linking solar panels would affect grid stability and energy from wind too is seasonal. “Had environmentalists adopted a similar stance some decades back, the State would not have had even the major projects such as Idukki and Sabarigiri that provide power to the State now,” he says.

According to A.N. Rajan, president, Kerala State Electricity Board Workers Federation, the State should fall in line with the ‘global thinking’ in favour of hydro-power projects. New projects, including Athirappilly, should be executed without incurring any environmental damage. “The world over there is a realisation that hydel energy is much safer than other options and hence could be attempted in Kerala too. The LNG option too should be explored to the hilt,” he says.

KSEB Workers Association general secretary K. Jayaprakash says the association would soon launch a public awareness drive to dispel the apprehensions about the Athirappilly project and also the need for implementing it without inflicting any major environmental damage. “The association has decided to clear the air by taking the public into confidence and educating them about the proposed action plan for the project,” he says.

Mr. Jayaprakash also said that the government has taken the lead to complete the ongoing projects in a time-bound manner. It has been proposed to have 17 new projects for generating 150.5 MW to meet the power needs. The dependence on external sources should be reduced and the State should be made self-reliant by raising internal generation in an eco-friendly manner, says Mr. Jayaprakash.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 5:50:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/unions-root-for-hydel-option/article19699576.ece

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