In a major setback to the Chandigarh electricity department’s plans of revamping its old infrastructure, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has not accorded approval to three projects worth around Rs 75 crore.
In order to improve the service reliability and meet the service standard prescribed by the commission, the electricity department had proposed six 66 kilovolt (KV) projects, of which three with an estimated cost of around Rs 19 crore have been approved. The rest three projects with an estimated cost of around Rs 75 crore have been denied approval. The proposal was made after a study was conducted by the department.
The department had proposed the conversion of the existing 33KV sub-station at Sector 18 to 66KV sub-station by providing gas insulated substation (GIS) 2x20mega volt ampere (MVA), 66/11KV power transformer along with 66KV associated 66KV T/L with underground cable from 66KV Sector 26 to 66KV Sector 18.
The proposed system with an estimated cost of around Rs 27.29 crore was to replace the existing three transformers installed at 33KV Sector 18 sub-station, which are more than 34 years old and completed their life span of 25 years. According to sources in the power department, these transformers are not only overloaded but have also become obsolete. The commission has denied approval to this project.
It also did not approve 2x20MVA, 66/11kV GIS at Sector 26 along with 66KV DC line from 66KV IT park to 66KV grid sub-station Sector 26 with an estimated cost of Rs 36.98 crore. The existing system has also outlived its life span of 25 years.
Similarly, a project of 66KV transmission line along with associated 66KV line bays to upcoming 66KV grid sub-station at Raipur Kalan with an estimated cost of Rs 11.3 crore was also not approved.
The commission has denied approval to the projects on the ground that the department neither provided the cost-benefit analysis nor any supporting documents related to the projects. The commission has directed the power department to submit complete documents related to the projects along with approvals from the administration or other competent authority.
Despite repeated attempts, UT superintending engineer MP Singh was not available to comment.
According to the official records, at present, there is one 220KV sub-station, 13 66KV substations and five 33KV substations in the city. Each sub-station has a lifespan of 25 years and around six 66KV substations have completed the life span.
The 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 percent of consumers.