Kerala government today informed the state assembly that it plans to implement 15 hydro-electric projects, including the controversial Aithrapally on the downstreams of Chalakudy river in Thrissur district. “As the state was facing severe power shortage, government was looking into all options to improve power production. Tapping solar, wind and setting up thermal power stations and hydro power projects, including Aithrapally, was under consideration,” Electricity Minister M M Mani said during question hour.
In a written reply, the Minister said a total 15 hydro power projects including the Aithrapally has been planned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. The Aithrapally project was mooted years ago, but ran into trouble and was kept in abeyance by the successive governments due to protest from environmentalist and local people. The LDF government had revived the project after it came to power in May 2016, he said.
Meanwhile, KPCC President V M Sudheeran came out against the move of the government to go ahead with the project and said studies have proved that there was no water available in the river for the project and also cost of power production would be much high, he said. It would also adversely affect the environment and also drinking water supply in over 20 panchayats, he said. Congress would launch agitation if government move ahead with the project, he said.