THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Big infrastructure projects, big electricity demand. With the district poised for a major infrastructure leap in the near future - Vizhinjam international port, Technocity et al - electricity demand is set to soar.
The 220 KV sub-station at Kattakada, to be inaugurated by Electricity Minister M M Mani on Wednesday, is a critical component in a Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) plan to overhaul the transmission network in the district to meet the challenge. On one hand, the sub-station will address a critical power supply problem faced in the south-eastern part of the district which is now served by a 110 KV line from Pothencode. The problem with this arrangement is that the line gets overloaded during the evening hours when demand peaks, said Mohan Kumar, Deuty Chief Engineer, Transmission Circle, Thiruvananthapuram.
‘’The new 220 KV sub-station and the Pothencode-Kattakada 220 KV line which feeds it will benefit seven lakh consumers in Nedumangad, Aruvikkara, Kattakada, Parassala, Neyyatinkara and parts of Thirumala. It will, in fact, fully address the electricity issue in these regions,’’ he said. The sub-station and the 27-km 220 KV overhead line linking it to the 220 KV sub-station at Pothencode was constructed at a cost of Rs 112 crore. Successful completion of the Pothencode-Kattakada-Vizhinjam 220 KV network is expected to cover the electricity needs of the district. Very soon, another 220 kV sub-station will be commissioned in Vizhinjam (This is an Adani Group project) for the Vizhinjam seaport area. The lines are being drawn from Kattakada to Vizhinjam by the KSEB. Once this project is commissioned, the 66 KV lines at Vizhinjam will be upgraded to 220 KV and the 66 KV Balaramapuram line will be scaled up to 110 KV, the KSEB said.
At present, almost 90 per cent of the electricity needs of Thiruvananthapuram district is met by the 220 KV sub-station at Pothencode. Electricity Minister M M Mani will inaugurate the Kattakada sub-station at 1.30 pm at a function to be presided over by I B Sathish MLA. A Sampath MP will be chief guest on the occasion.
Several hurdles in the way
T’Puram: The story of the 220 KV Pothencode-Kattakada transmission line, that feeds the Kattakada sub-station which will be inaugurated this week, is also one of delays, court cases, cancelled agreements and admirable effort put in by migrant labourers. The construction work of the line had begun in 2009, but protests along the 27-km route ended in a bevy of litigations in the High Court and the Supreme Court, delaying the work. In fact, the project was one of two major transmission initiatives in southern Kerala - the other being the Edamon-Kochi line - which got stalled due to local protests. The 220 KV sub-station at Kattakada, in fact, had been completed in 2012, but glitches in the stringing of the high-tension, over-head lines had delayed its commissioning, senior officials of the KSEB said. Midway, in 2015, the KSEB had to cancel its agreement with the contractor Utkal Galvanizers. A fresh deal was inked with New Modern Technomech Private Ltd in August 2016. The work was completed in ten months, KSEB officials said. Labourers from Bihar had a big role in speeding up the work.