Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 July 2024 7.37 PM IST

Power purchase mafia flourishing in KSEB; hydropower projects getting delayed; consumers suffering from high electricity bills


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The cost of production for hydropower is just Rs.1 per unit. Still, projects of more than 4500 MW capacity are not being attempted. This includes those that have been sanctioned and stalled along the way. KSEB is mainly interested in private electricity that costs up to Rs 10 per unit because of the Power purchase mafia. People's lives are left to bear the burden of excessive bills.

41% of the electricity consumed in the state is procured from private plants. Approval from the Regulatory Commission is obtained from year to year to purchase more power. Annual expenditure on private electricity is Rs 8823 crore.

The 800 MW second phase of the Idukki project got in-principle approval from the Centre a year ago, but no further action has been taken. The 300 MW Moozhiyar project has been given a green signal by the state government, but there has been no progress.

The government also approved the 3000 MW pumped storage project proposed by the expert committee as a solution to the power crisis. Pumped storage is the collection and reuse of runoff water after power generation. Through pumped storage, 700 MW of electricity in Idukki, 600 in Pallivasal, 100 in Mutirapuzha, 150 in Palakapandi, 400 in Seetharkunnu, 360 in Chaliyar, 300 in Amritapamba, 160 in Marayur, and 180 MW in Idamalayar can be generated.

Total of 96 small projects

  • Pallivasal to generate 60 MW has been under construction for 17 years
  • The construction of the 3 MW Vanchiyam project has been going on for 31 years
  • 40 MW Thottiyar is not commissioned despite its completion
  • 24 MW Bhoothathankettu stalled in dispute with contractor for 2 years

Target: 777 MW through 96 small projects

Some minor projects have been completed in the last three years only due to strict directives of the Power Minister. These are Upper Kallar of 2 MW, Peringalkuthu of 24, Peruvannamuzhi of 6, Aanakkampoyil of 8, Arippara of 4 and Chatankotuthara of 6 MW.

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