In a setback to the Chandigarh electricity department, which is already struggling to upgrade its ageing infrastructure, the Union Ministry of Power Saturday rejected the proposal of setting up a conventional 220 KV substation at Hallo Majra.
While Power Grid, which was authorised to set up the sub-station had submitted the proposal of a conventional outdoor substation for approval, the ministry has ordered the firm to set up an underground substation instead of a conventional one.
As a result of this decision, the project will be delayed as Power Grid will have to again start from scratch.
Also, this will be the first underground substation in the region. As per official records, presently, there is only one 220 KV substation in the region and the electricity department desperately needs another one to cope up with the increasing load. There are 13 66 KV substations and five 33 KV substations in the city. Each sub-station has a life span of 25 years and around six 66 KV substations are over that time span.
Superintending engineer MP Singh said that it will take around two years for constructing and making the under ground substation operational. “Once complete, the substation will be capable of meeting the region’s load requirement for the next 15 years,” said MP Singh.
While conventional substations are constructed in open air, underground substations are set up in basements. Constructing a substation under the ground reduces space requirements and the space on surface can be utilised for other purposes.
Although the existing infrastructure has the maximum load capacity of 410 megawatt (MW), this year during the summer season, southern sectors faced a tough time due to frequent outages caused by overloading of the system.
On May 20, the peak power demand had touched 401 MW, breaking all previous records. The previous record was registered on July 11, 2014, when power consumption had touched 395 MW. For the financial years of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, the peak demand has been projected to be around 450MW and 475MW respectively by the department.
Project marred by delays
The Rs 150-crore-project has been marred by delays. The project was accorded approval by the Union Ministry of Power’s standing committee on power system planning for the northern region way back in January 2013. Thereafter, the electricity department struggled to get land allotted for the project. After toiling hard, land measuring 3 acres was earmarked in Hallomajra for the project.
The electricity department caters to a total of 2.12 lakh consumers, out of which 1.75 lakh are in the domestic category. Of the total, there is regular billing of around 94 per cent of the consumers. New Devils Authentic Jersey