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As of now, the state of Goa is unable to meet its growing power requirements because of lack of necessary infrastructure. The GTTPL project will enhance the current power transmission capacity and improve the quality and reliability, thereby ensuring long-term energy security of the state, and boosting industrial and commercial activities, including tourism. South Goa being a tourism hotspot will be an important beneficiary of this project as the region currently relies on alternative sources of power because of unreliable power supply. Access to reliable power will also prove to be less expensive and cleaner for the environment than reliance on power backup, especially for the small businesses in the area.

The project is made up of five related but functionally independent power elements, as conceptualized by the Ministry of Power. These are:

  • 400kV D/c Sangod – Mapusa Transmission Line
  • 400/220kV AIS Substation at Village Sangod,
  • 220kV Sangod (upcoming Sangod substation) – Xeldem (Existing Goa Electricity Department (GED) substation) Transmission Line
  • 400kV D/c Sangod – Narendra Transmission Line In Line Out (LILO) Line
  • 765kV D/c Dharamjaigarh – Tamnar Transmission Line

Despite being part of the same special purpose vehicle (SPV), all the above elements are independent and non-interlinked.
On completion, it will form a complete ring viz. Mapusa>Kolhapur>Narendra>Sangod>Mapusa ensuring reliable power for both North & South Goa districts.

Biodiversity Impact Assessment & Management Plan (BIA/BMP) are not required to be conducted in case of diversion below 50 Hectare (Ha) in protected areas. The proposed diversion under the GTTPL project LILO line is 11.54 Ha only. Despite there being no statutory obligation, BIA/BMP has been voluntarily carried out, and a detailed mitigation plan has been put in place. The non-availability of the report on the government website is due to the absence of any statutory requirement to carry out the assessment. The BIA/BMP Report for Goa can be accessed here .
The project was discussed and approved at State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) meeting held on December 2, 2019. GTTPL answered all the queries regarding the selection of the proposed route, felling of trees and compensatory afforestation in the meeting. After thorough discussion on the project proposal, SBWL decided to recommend it to NBWL for consideration and appropriate action, in view of its importance in meeting and strengthening power supply to the state of Goa.
The total forest area under the project is estimated at 48.30 Hectares, of which 11.54 Ha is in the ‘protected area’ within the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife sanctuary. The impact of the transmission line on the sanctuary will be limited as only 6 towers (out of a total of 41 towers) will be constructed in this area, bringing down the actual impacted area within the sanctuary to only around 0.25 Ha. These measures have ensured minimal impact on wildlife.The company is also taking additional measures to minimise impact on wildlife such as the following:

  • Animal protection measures like culverts would be built on approach road to substation, to ensure safe passage of animals
  • Bird diverters on the conductor and perch rejecters on transmission tower would be installed along the transmission line corridor
  • Artificial nesting platform for raptor species to be built along the transmission line at a distance of 200 metres
  • Structures to climb transmission towers to have restriction guards to avoid access to arboreal species (Macaques, Langurs, Loris, Giant Squirrels etc.)
The final routes were chosen after a lot of planning and deliberation:

  • The route for the 400kV D/c Sangod – Narendra LILO Transmission Line’s was chosen to avoid the Mollem National Park completely and only involves a minimal unavoidable passage of 2.51 km through Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary
  • The other two routes, for 400kV D/c Sangod – Mapusa and the 220kV D/c Sangod – Xeldem transmission lines were chosen basis their minimal impact on the forest area. Three possible alternate routes for the transmission lines were considered, and ultimately, the least disruptive route was selected, although it has led to an increase in the line length by almost 4 km for the project and has also added significantly to the total project cost.

Final Routes : FAQs

The substation land acquired by GTTPL is “private land” in entirety. This is demonstrated by the sale deed which records the transfer of title from almost 100 owners. At the time the company was granted the permissions, the land wasn’t designated as “private forest land”. GTTPL acquired this parcel of land in 2018 as private land in “non forest area”. This was not designated as private forest then and even now it is not in the list of Proposed Private Forest Areas as well. GTTPL had applied for the requisite tree cutting permissions for private non forest land to Deputy Conservator of Forest in 2018, and permissions under Preservation of Trees Act (PTA) was issued in April 2019.
All necessary approvals for the project are in place. The construction work of the substation has commenced in October 2020. The company has also undertaken tree plantation activities across various locations: Goa Institute of Management (Sankhli), Usgaon, Sangod, and Codar. As on date, a total of 9367 trees have been planted by the project in the land allocated by Forest Department.
GTTPL recognizes the significance of the tourism sector in the overall development of Goa’s economy, and therefore, has taken all efforts to protect its rich flora and fauna. Transmission projects by default, involve minimal disruption to biodiversity especially in comparison to linear projects like highways and rail projects. Further, GTTPL has taken utmost caution and care, right from project planning to mitigation measures, and afforestation measures to ensure minimal disruption to biodiversity. Despite not being statutorily required to, Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) has been carried out.The project will provide uninterrupted and quality power supply to the state of Goa even during the peak tourist season, boosting the sector. In case of agriculture, impact will be minimal and temporary, and not cause any change in the farming practices. The design, structure and height of the towers will ensure that farming activity including cashew tree farming can be undertaken under the transmission line.

As per the existing rules under the EIA notification 2006, and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, EIA report is not required for power transmission projects. Therefore, EIA has not been carried out for the GTTPL project.
Yes, the project is fully compliant with all wildlife laws. The project has received all necessary approvals including the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) clearance which was issued in April 2020.
The proposed transmission route in Goa does not pass through the Mollem National Park and only involves a minimal unavoidable passage of 2.51 km through Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary. After the careful route optimisation undertaken by the project team, the route chosen is ~4 km longer than the alternate routes.

Transmission Lines : FAQs

A transmission project such as GTTPL is different from other linear projects like railways and highways, as it requires minimum land/ earth cutting. Due to long span lengths (400 meters) between the towers, the proposed transmission line project will not cause disruption such as division of the forest area in two parts. In the forest area, the construction practices adopted ensure that there is no movement of vehicles beyond the last motorable road point. Construction at the site will be limited to the final assembling of the tower materials.
The existing 220kV corridor was not used because of both technical and environmental considerations. Goa is connected to Southern grid with only one existing 220kV line and any upgradation on this line would entail disconnecting Goa from the Southern Grid till the completion of the new project. From the environmental aspect, any upgradation of the existing 220kV line would have required additional tree felling and disturbance to the wildlife in the Mollem National Park area. As also, the existing 220kV line passes entirely through Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and very minimum stretch through private lands in between.

One of the most important distinguishing factors of overhead transmission lines is that they do not require land acquisition like in rail and road projects, but only “Right of Way” (ROW) access. Further, construction of tower foundations requires much smaller spaces in comparisons to rail and road projects (usually a maximum of 20*20 meters). Another important distinction with linear infrastructure projects is that transmission projects do not bifurcate forest landscapes due to the long span of cable stringing (400 meters) connecting the towers. This ensures minimum felling of trees, and also allows free movement of animals on the ground.Although minimal felling of trees will be involved in the transmission projects, during the construction work, natural regeneration of trees can be maintained after the construction is completed. Further, transmission lines do not dispose waste material and hazardous substances in land, air and water and hence are non-polluting and environment friendly.