FPJ Interview: Mumbai Urja Marg well poised to be a gamechanger for Maharashtra, says Project Director Ninad Pitale

It will create an additional Corridor for bringing in up to 2000 mw of additional power badly needed to tackle ever rising power demand in MMR and strengthen the transmission network.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Monday, February 28, 2022, 08:36 PM IST
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A day after the Mumbai power breakdown, in an exclusive interview the Mumbai Urja Marg Project Director Ninad Pitale explains that its implementation will create an additional Corridor for bringing in up to 2000 mw of additional power badly needed to tackle ever-rising power demand in MMR and strengthen the transmission network

Q: What is the Mumbai Urja Marg Project?

A: Mumbai Urja Marg is an inter-state transmission system project covering Western Region Strengthening Scheme and North Eastern Region Strengthening Scheme spanning across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. This is a single project with various sub-elements as conceptualized by the Ministry of Power. Mumbai Urja Marg has three elements in Maharashtra with each of them playing a crucial role in transforming the power scenario in the region. They comprised 400 kV D/C (quad) Padghe to Kharghar transmission line, 400 kV D/C Padghe to Navi Mumbai LILO transmission line and 220 kV D/C Apta-Taloja LILO transmission line.

Q: How is the project important for Mumbai?

A: The Mumbai Urja Marg Transmission project involves setting up of 90 kms of transmission lines for critical system strengthening in MMR. Once operational, the project will have the potential to carry more than 2000 MW of additional power to the Mumbai & MMR region while also establishing a much-needed transmission corridor to enable increased power flow to MMR. It will be also critical to prevent future blackouts in MMR by decongesting the entire transmission network and providing an ISTS feed for the upcoming Vikhroli substation which was cited as the major intervention to avoid future power outages. Not only this, one of the strongest benefits of the project is that it establishes the last mile connectivity of Mumbai with Padghe (765KV PGCIL Substation) to bring renewable power to MMR.

With the promise of 24×7, affordable and green power flow across the state, Mumbai Urja Marg is well poised to be a true gamechanger for Maharashtra.

Q: What are the project timelines?

A: The project is scheduled to be complete by December 2023.

Q: What is the regulatory & procedural road for the project?

A: Mumbai Urja Marg Transmission is an inter-state transmission system project and comes under the purview of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Section 164 of the Electricity Act 2003 for the laying of electricity lines, for the SPV, had been issued by CEA (Central Electricity Authority) in Sep 2021. For linear projects like power transmission, clearing the Right of Way to enable construction is a major challenge. In the case of power transmission, there is no land acquisition, but farmers/landowners are paid land compensation for use of their land as per the Government notification for transmission Lines. Compensation is provided at 200% for the area under Tower and 15 % for the area underwire corridor as per ready reckoner rates.

Going forward, we are awaiting approvals from CIDCO, NAINA, NMSEZ and MIDC for the areas that come under their jurisdiction.

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