GUWAHATI, July 21 - For the first time in the Northeast, Guwahati will have a 33-kV underground power cable network. The Union Government and the World Bank are providing funds on a 50:50 basis for this Rs 123-crore project, which will be executed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).
Disclosing this, reliable sources here told The Assam Tribune that work on the project started in November 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by March 2019. It is being undertaken to strengthen the existing power supply network of the city.
The project will have an around 130-km-long underground cable network covering the areas of Paltanbazar, Ulubari, Rehabari, Uzanbazar, part of Silpukhuri, Chandmari, Bamunimaidam, Narengi, Panbazar, Fancybazar, GS Road, Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) localities, Hengrabari and the RG Baruah Road localities, the sources said.
To feed this network, there will be a 132-kV underground cable network to link the 132-kV substation at Kamakhya with the 132-kV substation at Paltanbazar and the 132-kV substation at Kahilipara with the 132-kV substation in GMCH area.
Survey on the 132-kV Kamakhya to Paltanbazar underground cable line has already been completed and construction of both the 132-kV substations is under progress. The tendering process for the Kahilipara-GMCH 132-kV underground cable network is under process. Cost of laying these 132-kV underground cable networks would be finalised after the tendering process is completed, the sources said.
The 33-kV underground power cable network would finally be handed over to the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) for future use and maintenance, while the 132-kV underground network would be handed over to Assam Power Grid Corporation Ltd (APGCL), the sources said.
The sources maintained that narrow and congested city roads, rains and resultant water-logging etc., have been obstructing the progress of the project. Absence of a master plan for maintaining dedicated corridors for underground power supply network, telecom, water supply etc., is also posing a big challenge to this project.
Besides, the work to lay the 132-kV underground cables between the Nilachal (Kamakhya) Hill and Paltan Bazar is also a challenging job, because there is no dedicated corridor and lots of constraints are there in the hill areas. Cooperation of the PWD and other authorities in laying this network is a must for completing this part of the project on time. Or else, there is the risk of the entire project being delayed, the sources said.
Forest products like aggregates, sand, gravel etc., are also not available during the rainy season. Moreover, restrictions on the diurnal movement of heavy machinery and vehicles connected with construction activities within the city areas are also causing problems in executing the project speedily, the sources added.