Jayalalithaa unveils power projects worth Rs. 20,000 crore

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday unveiled a slew of power and infrastructure projects, including a Rs. 7,000-crore underground power station with a capacity of 2,000 MW at Sillahalla in the Nilgiris district. Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, she said objective of unveiling these projects, totally worth around Rs. 20,000 crore, was to restore Tamil Nadu to its position as a power-surplus State.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Sillahalla project would be implemented in two phases and it would take eight to ten years for completion.

Sillahalla is a tributary of the river Kundah, and in the first phase a dam with a height of 98 metres and a capacity of 2.25 thousand million cubic feet of water will be constructed. Then it will be linked with Avalanche-Emerald reservoirs through a 2,750-metre tunnel.

In the second phase, a power station will be set up, taking advantage of the 1,500-metre height difference between the proposed Sillhalla plant and the Pillur dam.

The Chief Minister said that after generating electricity, the water would reach Pillur dam through a tailrace tunnel. An approach tunnel would be created for the water to reach the underground power station.

Stressing the need for creating infrastructure to distribute the power generated through new projects, Ms. Jayalalithaa said a plan had been conceived at a cost of Rs. 5,000 crore. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation would release a loan amount of Rs. 3,572 crore and the project would help in streamlining the power distribution in Chennai.

Besides, five new sub-stations with a capacity of 400 KW, corridors would be set up with financial assistance of Rs. 2,750 crore from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The sub-stations would come up in Guindy, Koratur, Manali and Ottiyambakkam in Chennai and Karamadai in Coimbatore.

Similarly, 14 sub-stations with a capacity of 230 KW would be set up in Alandur, the third main road in Ambattur, Chennai Central, Raja Annamalaipuram and TNEB headquarters in Chennai and Tirupur and Karuvalur in Tirupur district, Kinnimangalam in Madurai, Kumbakonam in Thanjavur, Poyyur in Ariyalur, Purisai in Tiruvannamalai, Chavvashpuram in Virudhunagar, Shenbagaputhur in Erode and Kancheepuram. The total cost for creating these sub-stations is Rs. 822 crore.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Power Grid Corporation of India was setting up a sub-station with a capacity of 765 KW in Thiruvalam in Vellore for the purpose transmission of power among southern States. Tamil Nadu will set up a 400 KW sub-station at a cost of Rs. 1000 crore to get more electricity from other States.

She said this year alone 10 sub-stations with a capacity of 400 KW, 16 sub-stations with a capacity of 230 KW, 19 sub-stations with a capacity of 110 KW and 11 sub-stations with a capacity 33 KW would be set up.

To overcome the power crisis, the government has decided to procure power through case-1 bidding. In the first phase, 1000 MW electricity will be procured since October for 15 years.

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