Tamil Nadu seeks Centre aid for Chennai power project

Rs 17,214 crore needed to bring electricity through underground cables, says government.

Chennai: In order to minimise the impact of natural calamities on power infrastructure and also to ensure speedy restoration of power supply, the state government has sought the Centre's assistance for the Tangedco proposal to convert the overhead lines in Chennai Corporation limits into underground cables at a cost of Rs 17,214 crore.

This demand was part of the memorandum submitted by Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi seeking the Centre's assistance for the damage caused by Cyclone Vardah that hit Chennai and its suburbs on December 12.


As part of the permanent restoration works, Tangedco has proposed to convert 1,56,898 km of the low tension overhead lines into the UG cables in the Chennai Corporation area at a cost of Rs 13,502 crore. Besides, it plans to convert 1,108 km of high tension OHT lines and 135 km of 230 KV OHT lines into UG cables at a cost of Rs 288 crore and Rs 1,215 crore.

The utility also propose to convert 13,810 existing distribution transformers structures to ring main units, which would help provide uninterrupted power supply and would be easy to attend faults, at a cost of Rs 1,819 crore while 33,225 existing pillar boxes would be converted to safer HRC fuse six way pillar boxes at an expenditure of Rs 389 crore.

Explaining the benefits of the UG lines, a senior Tangedco official said that the concept of electrical UG cable evolved because of its robustness to the effects of high-speed cyclonic wind gust and flooding compared to the overhead electrical networks.

The UG lines helps reduce the vulnerability of power supply restoration to the coastal communities on the aftermath of the natural hazards such as cyclone, storm surge, flood and tsunami over the longer term, the official said, adding that it also helps eliminate the risk of electrocution which is high in overhead HT/LT networks.

Cyclone Vardah has caused severe damage to power infrastructure in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts. As many as 29,907 poles were damaged or uprooted, over 650 distribution transformers were damaged, 54 high tension towers were damaged and 15,000 km HT and LT conductors were affected causing a damage of Rs 1093 crore to Tangedco.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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