The 2,000MW Pavagada Solar Park—which is being set up on 12,000 acres of land—has hit a hurdle with farmers refusing to give up land for drawing transmission lines. “We are finding it difficult to get right of way corridors (the area between two transmission towers) required to lay transmission lines. There are nine towers to be installed to ensure connectivity between the solar power production plant near Pavagada and the grid, but landowners are opposing the move, citing the diminution value of the land below the transmission lines. They have been demanding higher compensation for the proposed Right Of Way (ROW) corridors,” an energy department official told TOI.
The Pavagada project in Tumakuru district is the largest solar power generation plant in the country. Of the 2,000 MW, the National Thermal Power Corporation will develop 1,600MW. Karnataka will get 500MW power in the first phase from September 2017 and the power will be shared among the five Escoms. But with farmers demanding higher compensation, work on the solar project reportedly slowed down in recent times.
The issue came up during the review meeting that energy minister DK Shiva Kumar had with deputy commissioners on Tuesday. The minister said: “The Centre has issued guidelines for payment of compensation for damages on ROW, it has to be calculated on the basis of the land category. We have told deputy commissioners to convene a meeting with the landowners, convince them about the compensation package and close the issue at the earliest.”