The active monsoon may have brought smiles on the faces of many as the power supply situation in the state has drastically improved. However, officials are left fuming as efforts to upgrade the capacity of transmission stations as well as setting up of new stations are being stalled by people not ready to provide ‘Right of Way’ (RoW).
For thousands of people in Yelahanka, the diesel-based Distributed Generation (DG) power plant operated by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) was a problem.
With sustained efforts, the groups managed to convince the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to inspect the station and issue a notice, thus leading to the halting of power generation there.
However, the residents did not take into account the implications. They now don’t have locally generated power, while the setting-up of other transmission stations or their upgradation is also being blocked by a few. This has led to sustained power cuts in Yelahanka and other areas.
Earlier this year, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) had taken a piece of land on lease and established a 220 kV sub-station which was to be linked to the larger 400 kV station in Singanayakahalli being constructed by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). But concerted efforts to deny RoW for laying of lines has left the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited station isolated even as the agencies fight cases at various fora.
“We wanted to link the 220 kV station to the 400 kV station, but cases were filed in various courts by people who did not want us to set up towers.
Though KPTCL is a public utility empowered to draw lines where technically feasible, cases are pending in District Collectors’ (DC) courts and JMFC courts,” a senior official said. “Not just us, even the 400 kV station of PGCIL is facing RoW problems for linkage to a bigger station,” he added.
The rise of new apartment blocks in the area has also affected supply. “With new technology, we can lay new lines in the same width as required for a 66Kv line.
However, without clearance from the required agencies and the residents, who are opposing the work, we cannot operate the station,” the official said.
Power supply for Yelahanka and other surrounding areas is currently routed from the Peenya sub-station where a 150MVA 220/66 kV transformer is lying unutilised due to more RoW problems, thus overloading the station.
“This issue, if solved, can provide some relief to the people who are facing power cuts,” he said.
Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) officers acknowledged that there were supply issues with Peenya sub-station, but said that the number of complaints registered with them from Yelahanka were very low.