By Accommodation Times News Service
In a move that could significantly boost power supply in Noida through strengthening of the transmission network, the Uttar Pradesh Power Company Limited (UPPCL) has been granted permission by Noida Authority to set up electricity substations along green belts of the city. Till now, only transmission towers and lines were permissible on green belts.
UPPCL had earlier blamed Noida Authority for inadequate electricity supply on poor transmission infrastructure because spaces had not been left within sectors to meet future requirements of substations. Power corporation officials said that permission has been granted for setting up 33KV substations on green belts. Even though the power scenario is expected to improve with this move, urban development experts have questioned the planning methodology adopted by the Authority in first spending huge sums of money in developing green belts and then diverting the developed areas for other uses.
“Planners should use foresight to demarcate areas for different urban services, including minor ones like substations, electricity towers and storm-water drains. Adequate space should also be left around these proposed installations to allow for supplementary works like parking spaces, approach roads and so on, said one of the architects.
At the same time, green activists have also raised concerns over the adverse health and environmental impacts resulting from denuding of green belts, particularly at a time when there have been reports of rapidly depleting green cover in the NCR. “It has taken several decades for trees to grow to their full maturity. Compromising green cover for developing substations might result in environmental crisis in the future,” said Vikrant Tongad, a Noida-based environmentalist.
Activists say that developmental authorities should evolve a proper policy before diverting green belt areas for alternative uses so that intrusions are minimal and rampant encroachments are avoided.