Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) is at risk of losing a 300 MW corridor allocated by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for importing power to the State for a year from June. Board sources said the corporation allocated the corridor on condition that work on the Mysuru-Areacode 400 kV transmission link would be completed within a specific timeframe.
The line, which was scheduled for commissioning in 2010, was mainly intended for evacuating power from the nuclear power plant at Kaiga in Karnataka.
But the project was hanging fire for five years in the wake of protests by local people, mainly coffee growers, in Karnataka and also in Wayanad.
After a long period of uncertainty, work on the line resumed last December and the corridor was granted in January on condition that it would be ready for power evacuation before June itself.
Still, the impediments thrown up by the protesters were delaying the work and it was progressing at a snail's pace.
Going by the current status, it was unlikely to be completed even by December, impairing the prospects of granting the corridor.
A board official said that the present transmission infrastructure was too inadequate to meet the power demands of the State.
There was a pressing need for enhancing the inter-State transmission network.
The capacity had to be raised from the present 1,800 to 2,600 MW. But addressing the objections of property owners in the project area was something beyond the ambit of the board.
The board did not hold any right on the land on the stretch where the project had been conceived. The same was the case of the other projects too.
This eventually would delay such projects and make reduction of right of way for drawing the lines imperative.
The sources said a political engagement between the Kerala and Karnataka governments may iron out such disputes and create awareness about the need for importing power from all available sources to the State.
A series of meetings at the Chief Ministers' level had not had desired results so far.
Unless the State government took the lead to settle the protests soon, the State would lose the corridor, which would lead to a power crisis in the coming months, the sources said.
Source- The Hindu