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APDCL reveals blueprint for underground power distribution in Guwahati

Kajol Singha , June 18, 2024
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Guwahati: The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) is planning a major overhaul of the electricity network with the introduction of underground power lines in the Greater Guwahati areas.

So why is APDCL planning to construct an underground power distribution and how will it help the people?

Seeking answers to these questions, Business North East reached out to a senior official who disclosed several key aspects of the upcoming project. The upgrade, according to the source, is a part of APDCL’s plan of creating a disaster-resilient power distribution system. "This will lead to better reliability, capacity, safety, and improved stability of power in the gateway city of Northeast India as per the vision of the Chief Minister [Himanta Biswa Sarma]," the official told this platform.

Conversion of overhead lines to UG cabling system will not only improve the aesthetic look of the city but also ensure several other objectives of the APDCL.

The APDCL official explained, "We will have reliable power to the GS Road and AT Road areas which is of great commercial importance to Guwahati. Additionally, we will now have quality power with good voltage regulation to the areas even during contingency conditions of load transfer and changeovers. The power distribution system will be safer, and more secure, and peak power losses and annual energy losses will be reduced. Changeover of power supply through RMUs during exigencies. Restoration of power supply by isolating the faulty zones in the 33kV or 11kV network through RMUs."
How will the APDCL construct an underground power distribution?

PRDC, the consultant for the proposed project is preparing the cabling scheme after a detailed survey and technical feasibility study such as load flow study, contingency analysis, etc. Survey of the existing power distribution network has been conducted using the GIS instruments. Meanwhile, QGIS software has been used to develop the digitized route map. On the other hand, network analysis tools and software have been used for technical feasibility studies such as load flow study, and contingency analysis of the proposed UG network. 

Business North East's official source informed, "The scheme has been designed based on universally acceptable philosophy considering adequate redundancy in the system. 33kV and 11kV feeders shall be connected to alternate sources through Ring Main Units and LT Feeders are connected to alternative sources through DTR/existing DTs via LT Feeder Pillar Boxes. Generally, direct buried cable trench is proposed to lay the cable along both sides of busy roads beside the footpath and drain. Cable laying through HDD methods is also proposed at drain crossings or road crossing based on feasibility."
The total tentative cost of the project is Rs 2302 crore for priority-1 areas as per a first draft of the cabling project submitted by the consultant. However, since the proposal for the entirety of Guwahati is still under review, the exact financial cost of the project is yet to be finalized.

Khanapara to Paltanbazar (10.4km), Fancy Bazar (2km), Kamakhya to Dharapur (9.74km), and Dharapur to VIP Chowk (7km) have been identified as the priority zones for the project. The remaining areas will be covered in the second phase of the cabling.

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