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Sunday, July 25, 2021

MCZMA clears project for Airoli-Vikhroli power transmission towers

The MCZMA, which cleared the project earlier this month, said 679 mangrove trees would have to be removed for laying the approach path and tower foundation for the project. Another 6,874 mangrove trees would be affected due to a stringing operation.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
June 25, 2021 11:19:08 pm
The MCZMA has said it recommended the project for clearance only because it has a direct bearing on Mumbai's power supply.

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has cleared a project to erect 47 transmission towers over a 14.5-km stretch between Airoli in Thane district and Vikhroli in the Mumbai suburbs.

The project, which is expected to augment Mumbai’s electricity supply, was handed over to the Adani Transmission last year. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked Adani Energy to speed up work on it when a major electricity failure had hit Mumbai in October last year.

The MCZMA, which cleared the project earlier this month, said 679 mangrove trees would have to be removed for laying the approach path and tower foundation for the project. Another 6,874 mangrove trees would be affected due to a stringing operation. The MCZMA has now asked the project proponent to plant six times the number of mangroves destroyed.

The proposal passed by MCZMA allows Adani Transmission to use the stretch moving outwards off the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary, the mangroves outside the BMC dumping ground at Kanjur, the Godrej property and then to the 400 KV Vikhroli substation. Thereafter, the line will extend from the Vikhroli sub-station to the BMC sewage treatment plant at Ghatkopar to join the Kharghar-Vikhroli line.

The MCZMA has, meanwhile, said that Adani Transmission must obtain clearance from the National Board for Wildlife Protection, Mangrove Cell, the forest department and the High Court for the project. The Authority has also asked the Adani Transmission to install bird diverters to prevent the collision of flamingos and other birds on the transmission towers.

The MCZMA has said it recommended the project for clearance only because it has a direct bearing on Mumbai’s power supply.

In 2010, there was a blackout for five to six hours, following which a committee was appointed which had suggested the Kharghar-Vikhroli line and the work was given to Tata Power. As there was not much progress, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had decided to hold a bid and the Adani Transmission got the project.

After a major power failure in October 2020 during the first wave of the Covid pandemic, Thackeray convened a meeting and directed that the plot be given to the Adani Transmission, which is being handed over now after the MERC has passed an order.

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