Chennai: The State’s present power demand stands at around 15,300 megawatt and most of it is transfered using cables, poles and transformers.
It is these equipments that mostly get damaged during natural disaster such as cyclones and form a major portion of the loss the State incurs.
The loss percentage is higher when disaster strikes in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts. Sources said TANGEDCO has incurred a loss of around 3,500 crore in the past seven years during natural disasters.
Most damages were done in the coastal areas where cyclones such as Thane, Vardah, Ockhi and Gaja made landfall. Damaged poles and cables made it difficult to restore power in affected areas and acted as a huge hurdle in restoring normalcy.
A huge amount of material, funds and human power is needed to sort things out. Even after putting in so much effort, it is said there are a few interior villages affected by Gaja are are yet to receive power. Social activists feel that the loss of power and cost incurred due to such losses can be minimised if the cables are laid underground.
This will make sure that the lines which are at present overhead will not be damaged and a significant amount can be saved if a cyclone strikes next time. It is said this move will also reduce the time taken for restoration.
“Laying underground lines will also help in maintaining the greenery. In several places, fully grown trees are cut down as they come in contact with live wires. The cost of lamp post, cables can also be reduced,” said Umesh Subramani, an activist.
Official sources said the underground cable laying project is under consideration and might first kick start in Nagapattinam and Velankanni
“The first stage preparation is in progress and once it is completed, the scheme will be implemented in the coastal areas,” said an official.
|Loss in numbers|
|Thane – 300 crore
Vardah – 1,093 crore
Ockhi – 238 crore
Gaja- 1,500 crore