Saturday, July 28, 2018

'Solar initiative directly benefits Cial passengers'

Around 10 million passengers flew in and out of Kochi last fiscal year but many might not know that more than three decades ago Kochi was at the risk of the falling off the aviation map if not for the audacious attempt by a young IAS officer - V J Kurian - to set up a new airport.
Q: When Cial started out there were many challenges and obstacles. Now the same airport has received recognition from the UN.
A: We started with just Rs 20,000 in our hand but went on to build this Rs 300 crore project. In 1993, when I mooted the idea nobody believed it would become a reality. Not even in my wildest thoughts did I imagine that we would handle 1 crore passengers in just around 25 years of operation and now the UN recognition has followed.
Q: What set in motion Cial's solar initiative? Was it just a branding exercise?
A: It started as a necessity because of an increase in the electricity tariff. In a state where you have rain for six months, we were not sure if a solar project would be viable. We started with 100 KW and after a couple of months realized that power production was quite good. We decided to expand it 1MW and observe it for over a period of one year. We presented it to the state government and said upgrading the facility to 12 MW would make us energy efficient.
27/07/18 Vinod Vikram/Times of India