Panjim: In a major development, the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL) granted its in-principle approval on Monday for the Goa Tamnar Power Transmission line, which passes through the Mollem Wildlife Sanctuary. The SBWL meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane, reviewed and gave the green light to the electricity project.
Chief Minister Sawant confirmed the approval in a tweet, stating, "Board cleared the Tamnar electricity project." The power transmission initiative involves laying a 400 KV transmission line from Sangod in Goa to the Karnataka border to address Goa's peak electricity demand of 1192 MW.
The project faced strong opposition initially but received relief when the Supreme Court accepted the recommendation of the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC). The CEC suggested utilizing the existing 220 KV powerline alignment in Goa instead of cutting down fresh forest cover to lay a new 400 KV line as part of the project.
Additionally, the SBWL meeting discussed and approved the erection of eight BSNL towers in protected areas and eco-tourism projects in Surla, Mollem, and Netravali villages. The discussions also focused on promoting eco-tourism initiatives in the hinterland with community participation.
The decision marks a crucial step forward for the power transmission project amid ongoing efforts to balance developmental needs with environmental conservation.