Elimination of 1 lakh trees for power line in Wayanad (Kerala)
and Kodagu (Karnataka ) by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd
Prepared and Presented By :
• Coorg Wildlife Society
• Kaveri Sene
• Kodagu Basava Devarbana Samrakshana Samithi
• Raitha Sangha
• Wayanad Prakruti Samrakshana Samiti
• Our Own Nature, Wayanad
Coffee Estates of Kodagu have been protecting these large trees for centuries.
There are an estimated number of 350 old growth trees per hectare ( Ref : College of Forestry, Ponnampet)
in these estates. Sightings of large mammals like elephants and Gaur are common. Tigers and leopards
are also sighted.
In Nov 2013, the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) cleared 4.55 Km of thick
forests in Doddaharve, Dubbare, Devamachi divisions of forest in Kodagu- Mysore district to
give way for 400 Kv DC power line from Kaiga to Kozhikode.
• 4.55 km (23.166 hectares) of moist deciduous forests cleared in Kodagu-Mysore districts
• FC clearance was for 52 m wide clearance and PGCIL cleared close to 80m width. The
actual requirement is just 30 m clearance as per PGCIL
PGCIL Claims 2,247 trees, DCF of Virajpet has submitted 21,000 trees to NGT, and activists
who have done GPS mapping and scientific data analysis confirms 55,000 trees
• The govt claim is they have just cleared 2500 trees.
• Govt estimates 350 trees per hectare in coffee estates in these regions . Hence , 23.166
hectares of forests should have a minimum of 8000 trees .
• 30 km of coffee estates have an estimated number of 54,000 trees. ( 30 km long, 52 m wide =
156 hectares x 350 trees)
• There are roughly 350 different species of endemic trees in coffee estates alone.
In 2011 , another 40 hectares of tropical wet evergreen forests in the North Wayanad, South
Wayanad and Kozhikode districts were cleared for Kaiga--Kozhikode line
• Science estimates 800-1000 trees per acre of tropical wet evergreen forests
• Assuming 500 trees per acre, 40 hectares of forests roughly adds to cutting of
50,000 trees in Kerala
• Official figures from Kerala were not provided in spite of filing an RTI
Wayanad and Kodagu, origins of river Cauvery
• Sharing interstate border of Karnataka and Kerala, Kodagu and Wayanad have similar topography
• East sloping from the Western Ghats, Wayanad’s forests are the origins of 3 rivers (Panamaram
river, Mananthavady river and Thirunelli river ) that eventually flows as Kabini
• Hence, Wayanad and Kodagu are main source of river Cauvery that provides food and water
security to over 80 million people in peninsular India.
Conclusion from Lakshmanatirtha catchment (Kodagu, Mysore, Mandya, Hassan (3969
Sq Km) analysis , IEEE GHTC
• The landuse was analysed for the year
2013, the catchment is covered with
14.4% of vegetation, it could be
observed that the Ghats regions of the
catchment has higher vegetation cover
compared to that of the plains.
• The hydrologic assessment
demonstrated that with high rainfall
towards the Ghats, the characteristics
such as water holding capacity with
lower runoff, higher infiltration capacity
are towards regions with good
Conclusion : The presence of higher forest cover in a catchment would help in catering
the demands of water during the post monsoon hence catering for all the12 months.
Locals with support from Coorg Wildlife society and Cauvery Sene have been agitating in this area
since year 2006 prior to the FC clearance .
Increasing Man-animal conflicts in Wayanad and Kodagu
Wayanad alone had around 4,000 compensation claims filed in 2012-13 in wildlife related incidents and
forest department had hiked the compensation rate in 2013.
Save Wayanad and Kodagu from the grip of Power Grid Corporation Ltd
and timber mafia. This project would trigger more man-animal conflicts
in Wayanad due to habitat loss for elephants , wild boars and monkeys.
Save river Kabini and Cauvery by stopping cutting
of over 1 lakh trees in Wayanad and Kodagu .
Save our water sources and crops that provide food and water security
to 80 million people.
Do we need to sacrifice 1 Lakh trees for drawing 40 MW
power from a distance of 600 km , when viable alternatives
are available ?
In the long term, policy makers should choose de centralised renewable
Power Vs Water – What are the alternatives ?
• Upgrading existing 220 Kv HD Kote – DB Kuppe line
to Kozhikode. This line is 65 Km shorter than the
existing alignment. The PGCIL claims that if this line
is to be upgraded, then the present line would
have to be switched off and Kerala areas supplied
by this line would be without power for a
prolonged period of time. It is for consideration
that alternative grid hook ups could be made for
this period of time or power could be evacuated
from the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu.
• Upgrading existing 110 kV line from Mangalore to
Kasargode. This option may be much less
controversial than the proposed 400 KV D/C line
through Western Ghats. The 1,200 MW power
plant of Udupi Power Corporation and the
proposed expansion of generating capacity at Kaiga
atomic power plant may lead to adequate despatch
of power to north Kerala
• The current requirement for Kerala from Kaiga III
and IV is only 40 MW. Kerala is already connected
to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka various transmission
lines. The total power carrying capacity of all these
lines can be as much as 3,000 MW. This is
approximately 3 times Kerala’s share in the
southern region. 11
Power needs of Kerala and current supply
• As per power ministry total share of Kerala from Kaiga III and IV will be less than 40 MW
• The Committee has noted that power to an extent of 190 MW is already flowing to Kerala
on the existing 220 kV line between Kadakola (Karnataka) and Kaniampetta (Kerala).
• Kerala’s total share from the maximum output of all the central sector power plants in
Southern Region is about 1,280 MW as per the allocation by the Union Ministry of Power.
Since no power plant generates electricity at 100 % at all times, and station auxiliary
consumption in each power plant consume about 12% of generated power, Kerala’s total
share in Southern Region may be less than 1,000 MW on an average.
• Kerala is already connected to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka through the following
transmission lines. The total power carrying capacity of all these lines can be as much as
3,000 MW. This is approximately 3 times Kerala’s share in the southern region.
(i) 400 kV Udumalapet-Palakkad-Trichur D/C
(ii) 400 kV Tirunelveli-Trivandrum D/C
(iii)400 kV Tirunelveli -Edamon line D/C
(iv)220 kV Udumalpet - Idukki
(v) 220 kV Theni – Mooziyar
(vi)220 kV Mysore – Kaniaympetta
(vii)110 kV Mangalore –Manjeshwara (Kasargod)
• For the year 2013-14 Kerala’s entitlement from the southern regional grid was 9,350
Million Units (MU), and it was scheduled to draw 10, 879 MU from the grid, it has
actually drawn 11,374 MU as per Southern Regional Power Committee.
Contradicting Statements that changes with time…
• PGCIL claims 8000 trees and DFO of Virajpet claims 21,000 across Kodagu District
• PGCIL claims 100 trees per hectare – 2000 trees in forest and 6000 in Private land
• PGCIL and 3 member committee claims 100 trees per hectare and DFO of Virajpet claims
350 trees per hectares
• According to the ROW document of PGCIL, the extent of Coffee plantations in the route is
30Kms and Paddy fields is 20Kms ( Till 2012) . After local agitations, PGCIL claims it is 12
km Coffee and 20 Km paddy in order to undermine the extend of trees.
• PGCIL states that over 16000 trees will be felled if the power line goes through the D-Line
and 13000 trees if the line is routed through the existing 220KV line. This appears to be an
attempt to dissuade usage of the alternative routes.
• The 3 member Committee has dwelled in length as to why alternative routes / means
suggested by locals cannot be acceptable. It has not addressed the issue of fragmentation
of the forests, potential man-elephant conflict, deleterious impact on the catchment area
of river Cauvery, and impacts on local agriculture and life style. The Committee’s mandate
should have been to focus on avoiding the felling of so many trees and the consequent
impact on the environment of Western Ghats.
• Report of Technical Committee setup by Govt of Karnataka to review suggestions on
alternate routes for Mysore- Kozhikode 400 Kv DC line
• Modelling Hydrologic regime of Lakshmanatirtha watershed, Cauvery river
Ramachandra T V , Nupur Nagar , Vinay S , Bharath H Aithal
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences [CES]
Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra)
Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP]
Department of Civil Engineering ,NITK Surathkal
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560 012, India
• An analysis of the alternatives to the proposed 400 kV D/C transmission line between
Mysore and Kozikode by PGCIL
Power Policy Analyst
• Power Line memorandum to Dr Shivakumar Aradhya, Director , CPRI
Col Muthanna , President, Coorg Wildlife Society , firstname.lastname@example.org
• Media reports