Mumbai goes underground for power

Sub-stations to be put below ground level to save space and cost of acquiring land

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | November 19, 2015



Mumbai city may soon have underground power sub stations to overcome the challenge of availability of   space.  While many foreign countries have underground sub stations, in India Delhi  Metro Rail Corporation has set up two underground sub-stations to power its network.

For uninterrupted power supply the state government is planning to set up underground infrastructure facilities in open spaces. These will be included in the city’s development plan.

“Maharashtra would be the second state in India to have underground substations. Land for setting up this infrastructure was a problem in densely built-up areas like  Bandra and Colaba, where space is at a premium,” said  energy minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule.

In view of rising demand for power in Mumbai not constructing these sub-stations could lead to outages, he said. The sub-stations can come up below land earmarked for public amenities. The use of the land will not change. "We have requested chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to hold a meeting in this regard and make necessary provisions in the DP,” he said.

According to the energy ministry, work on a transmission line to pump an extra 800MW power in to Mumbai and strengthen the distribution and transmission network was underway and will be completed by March 2016. District collectors would transfer land to the state utility free of cost for setting up sub-stations. Currently, there is a delay in handing over land due to payment issues and this has resulted in pendency of work on many sub-stations.

With  3,450 MW  demand  in the city at present the city’s power  is supplied by Tata Power Company (TPC), Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), Reliance Infrastructure, (RInfra) and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran).

A meeting of representatives of power companies and senior officials to discuss these issues was held earlier this month.

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