Electricity towers: Regulatory Commision calls for norms to compensate ryots

HYDERABAD: Expressing concern about the farmers, whose land values are diminishing on account of erection of electricity transmission towers and without payment of adequate compensation for the portion of land utilised, the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed the Discoms to approach the district collectors urgently for framing appropriate guidelines.Several farmers filed petitions before the ERC expressing their anguish over the  acquisition of their farmlands for laying high-tension power transmission lines and erecting towers.

Responding to this, the ERC, in its order, directed the Discoms to award compensation to the farmers and others for laying 132 KV, 220 KV and 400 KV lines and acquiring the right of way through the lands of various owners.“We also advise the direct collectors to frame the guidelines in a fair and transparent manner to reduce the disputes, if not framed already, and also to keep in mind the public interest. This commission has the power to revise the compensation order passed by the district collector.

Allu Venkat Reddy, who owns a land under Survey No 353 and 58, in Pedda Ummantala village in Pudur mandal in Rangareddy district filed a case before the ERC seeking payment of compensation for the land utilised to erect two electric towers in his farm land. This petition was filed with a prayer for direction to the Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited to pay compensation for the loss of crop and also for loss of value of the land under the towers and lines. However, the ERC did not grant the relief as sought by petitioner Venkat Reddy, stating that the role of the commission had to be in consonance with the provisions of Section 67(4) of the Electricity Act, 2003 and not otherwise.

“It is the claim of the respondent that the power is conferred on the respondent by the government under Section 164 of the Act, 2003, and the respondent is entitled to exercise the powers of Telegraph Authority as such it is not necessary to obtain the prior consent from the landowner/petitioner. The respondent has not filed any gazette notification or order conferring powers under Section 164 on it. Therefore, in the absence of such notification, it is difficult for the commission to conclude whether such power is conferred or not,” the ERC said in its order.

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