Kochi: The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on Monday started the process of removing solar panels in the three kilometre stretch on the diversion canal from the Chengal canal near the airport after people's representatives and local people demanded its removal citing it as the reason for the floods in the area this time.
"We have started removing the panels which have been generating 4MW of power. Daily production comes to 16,000 units and we are yet to assess the exact amount of loss but it will come to crores of rupees," said a CIAL official.
Though the reinforcement concrete structure of the solar panels are not directly hindering the flow of water as they are erected well above the water level with poles rooted on the banks, the vociferous demand in a meeting called by the District Collector on Sunday forced CIAL to accede to the demand of the people to remove it. MP Benny Behnan and MLA Anwar Sadath voiced their protest and demanded its removal in the meeting, it is learnt. "We have started removing the solar panels though we are not yet convinced of the logic put forward against it," said the official. The power generation loss on account of the removal of the panels is cited as a major setback for the state which is reeling under acute power deficit.
Meanwhile, CIAL has suffered a loss of Rs 6 crore on account of the shutdown for nearly three days. The total loss incurred by 24 airlines operating from the airport for the three days is estimated at Rs 20 crore....