Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice M.M. Sundresh directed that the petition be forwarded to the Head of Electrical and Mechanical Departments, IIT – Madras, and sought a report by the next hearing date on February 15. The points that have been raised could be considered in the report, the court said.

TAMIL NADU High Court seeks suggestions from IIT-Madras
B. Tilak Chandar
MADURAI, JANUARY 22, 2021 22:02 IST
UPDATED: JANUARY 22, 2021 22:02 IST
Consultation for designing of power transmission lines

Taking note of the issue raised by a petitioner on how electricity transmission lines should be designed so as to not disturb agricultural lands or render large tracts of agricultural fields uncultivable, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has asked a copy of the petition to be forwarded to the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, so that it can come out with suggestions.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice M.M. Sundresh directed that the petition be forwarded to the Head of Electrical and Mechanical Departments, IIT – Madras, and sought a report by the next hearing date on February 15. The points that have been raised could be considered in the report, the court said.

The petition was filed by Nethaji who had challenged the passing of the transmission lines over agricultural fields from Virudhunagar to Coimbatore for a power project. The petitioner said that the electromagnetic emission from the transmission lines might have an adverse effect on crop production and human health. He also raised the issue of compensation to be paid.

The judges observed that it was expected that the State or the authorities concerned would take the lines of least resistance while choosing the routes of the transmission lines. Towers could be set up on agricultural lands, but the route should be planned so that there was least displacement of farmers or disturbance to the agricultural fields while keeping the costs of transmission also in mind. It was not unknown for transmission lines to take a detour at times from straight lines so as to leave fertile lands.

After the petitioner suggested that transmission lines could be carried underground, the court said the idea appeared to be far-fetched. It could involve huge expenses and in any event for such transmission lines to be carried underground, there might be even more disruption in the

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