Centre defers proposed hydro power project inside Kalakkad tiger reserve

A 10.95 km tunnel will be built linking both the reservoirs to enable power generation.

Published: 30th March 2023 09:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 09:53 AM   |  A+A-


For reprentational purpose

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  An expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the Union environment ministry has deferred a hydroelectric project proposed by Tangedco inside the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

A central committee is likely to visit Kanyakumari to assess the project.

Tangedco has proposed to build a 1,500 MW pumped storage hydroelectric project spread over 40.72 hectares by using Kodayar dam as the upper reservoir, which is a masonry gravity dam, and PWD’s Pechiparai dam as the lower reservoir. A 10.95 km tunnel will be built linking both reservoirs to enable power generation.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 10,838 crores. As per official documents, Tangedco plans to build six 250 MW units that will together generate 3,120 million units of electricity annually. While an application seeking wildlife clearance is yet to be filed before the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), Tangedco has applied for terms of reference to conduct an environmental impact assessment.

When the project came up for discussion during the recently held EAC meeting, it was noted that the project site lies in dense forests between Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

The expert appraisal committee suggested submitting the alternative site analysis on ecological aspects such as loss of forest ecosystem due to diversion of forest land/loss of biodiversity and its impacts on the productivity of the ecosystem and likely impacts of the project on tribals etc.

“After detailed deliberations, the expert appraisal committee observed that the project is located in a sensitive area and decided to conduct site visits by EAC sub-committee members before making any recommendations on the proposal,” the minutes of the meeting stated.


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