Across Delhi, the sanctioned load of 5.6 lakh consumers was increased by discoms (see box). This means nearly 1,000 MW of increased power consumption.
Discom officials said that as per the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission directives, the sanctioned load of a consumer is to be revised annually, based on the average of three highest maximum demand indicator readings on their meters in the past financial year.
Power department officials point out that typically, a household has a sanctioned load of 2-4 KW. But nearly all of them use 5-6 KW due to the use of appliances such as geysers and air conditioners. “This causes overload and breakdown of the grids and transformers, leading to power supply disruption and faster wear and tear of infrastructure,” said a senior official.
Even as discoms claim that they use the money collected from increasing the sanctioned load for improving their distribution network, residents have a different story to tell.
“The money collected should be spent on installing higher capacity transformers, meters, wires etc, so that in case of peak load, there are no breakdowns or fireworks which life and property in danger. But it has not been done and we continue to face power cuts,” said Rajiv Kakaria, from NGO Chetna.