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Corpn. proposes to set up its own windmills

Staff Reporter

TIRUNELVELI: Following the Levingipuram panchayat on Tirunelveli - Kanyakumari border, the Tirunelveli Corporation has also initiated steps to install its own windmills at Muppandal region, the second largest wind-farm in the world, to meet its increasing power consumption requirements and ensure huge savings in its electricity bill.

The first civic body to take such an initiative is Levingipuram panchayat, as the local bodies have to pay the commercial rate of Rs. 3.50 per unit of electricity being used on their office premises, streetlights, huge water pumping motors, etc.

The cash-starved Tirunelveli Corporation, which utilises 12,50,000 units of power every month (150 lakh units every year), has to remit Rs. 5.25 crores to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board annually, which consumes a huge amount in its annual budget.

So the Corporation has proposed to set up windmills with a total capacity of 9 MW to ensure a huge saving of Rs. 3.45 crores a year in power bill. Initiating the first step, the Mayor, A. Jayarani, and the Commissioner, D. Chandrasekran, submitted a memorandum to the Chairman of Third State Finance Commission, M.A. Gowrishankar, during his recent visit to the district to get suggestions from representatives of local bodies on improving their finances.

The Commissioner for Municipal Administration, Ambuj Sharma, also reportedly supported the Corporation's initiative.

"Presently, the cost of establishment of a windmill with a capacity of 1 MW is Rs. 5 crores and we are in need of Rs. 45 crores as we intend to install windmills with a capacity of 9 MW. If we can get 70 per cent of the total investment by way of loans from financial institutions at an interest rate of 8 per cent, we will get one unit of power produced from our windmills for Re. 1, which means the Corporation will save Rs. 3.45 crores," Ms. Jayarani, an electronics engineer, told The Hindu on Monday.