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People unwilling to give land for EB substations: Officials

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) officials are in a catch 22 situation. Residents on the outskirts of the Chennai Corporation demand streamlined power distribution, but at the same time, not ready to give necessary land to build substations (SS).

People unwilling to give land for EB substations: Officials
Fact File


With TANGEDCO struggling to procure land for setting up more substations, the demand of residents for streamlined power would continue to be a dream for some more time, said top TANGEDCO officials. 

While a similar exercise in the mofussil areas raises no issues, the rapid development and expansion of Chennai city have resulted in people demanding power without allotting land for substation facility. Officials said, “At least 5,000 sq ft of land is needed to set up a 33 KVA substation while 10,000 sq ft will ensure a similar 110 KVA facility. This will enable us to house the breakers on the ground floor and have the offices on the first floor. But, with land being at a premium in Chennai, house owners and flat promoters do not consider this other than to demand immediate power connections.”

Citing an example, officials said, “Multi-floored flats between Pallavaram and Tambaram had no allocated space for a 33 KVA substation and without this, it was not feasible to distribute power equitably.” While house owners demand quality power, they fail to realise that unless space is set apart for a substation, they will continue to suffer from poor quality of power distribution. But, there seems to be no change in the public mindset, given the fact that house owners even object to transformers being erected in front of their houses.

“In Kodambakkam and Mambalam, the SS are in the middle of the load centre, whereas in Mudichur, near Tambaram, the SS had to be erected nearly 2 km away from the load centre,” the officials explained. At Chitlapakkam, a 33 KVA substation could be set up only after 5 years due to lack of land. 

Private land owners hesitate to give space to the corporation at guideline values, as TANGEDCO cannot pay the prevailing market price for land. The officials said, “We are in a catch 22 situation. The solution lies in the government enacting a law making it mandatory for commercial housing colonies to allocate land for a substation,” a senior official said.

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