Work on Meenvallom hydel project to start soon

Staff Reporter

Project estimated to cost Rs.10.86 crore

NABARD sanctions Rs.7.79 crore for projectTaken up by district panchayat under Panchayati Raj Act

PALAKKAD: District panchayat president Subida Ishaq has said that the work of the 3 M.W Meenvallom Small Hydel Project will start shortly as NABARD has sanctioned Rs.7.79 crore for the project.

An advance amount of Rs.155.86 lakh was already released by NABARD under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), she said.

The project, constructed across Thuppanad river of Thuthapuzha, will be completed in a period of 18 months by Steel Industrials Kerala Limited under the Turn Key system.

The total project cost is estimated to be Rs.10.86 crore.

The Centre had already given sanction for utilising 1.15 hectors of forest land for constructing the project at Meenvallom in Karimba Grama Panchayat, she said. The installed capacity of the project is 3 mw and the annual power generation is estimated to be 8.37 MU.

This is the first mini-hydel project taken up by a District Panchayat under the Panchayati Raj Act of 1994 on the Chinese model of small hydel projects.

The State Government had given sanction for the project on April 22, 1998 and `Palakkad Samll Hydro Company' was formed on January 20, 1999.

But for the loan to sanctioned a guarantee from the State Government was need. The previous United Democratic Front Government was against giving Government guarantee to such projects taken up by the local bodies.

Now, NABARD has sanctioned the loan after the company entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

The KSEB will purchase power generated from the project at Rs.2.50 per unit in the first five years and in the next 20 years the price is fixed at Rs.2.12 per unit.