The UT electricity department has apparently been ignoring the hue and cry of residents against frequent power breakdowns, as it is dragging its feet to install transformers it had bought for improving the transmission system.
The department paid around Rs 5 crore to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for installing a 100-MVA transformer at Kishangarh sub-station around two years ago, but it has failed to get the job done. At present, there are two 100-MVA transformers installed at Kishangarh which account for transmission of nearly 65% power supplied to Chandigarh.
Similarly, for improving the power supply as well as to meet its future requirements, the electricity department had procured a total of 50 11-KV transformers earlier this year at a cost of over Rs 1 crore. The new transformers were to be set up at different places in the city, however, the department, till date, has been able to install only 15 transformers.
According to sources, the electricity department has failed to develop infrastructure to meet its present requirement, which has led to disrupted power supply. In the last few years during summer season, overloading of the existing transformers was observed to be more than 95%, which is in violation of the joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC) guidelines. According to the JERC, the load on transformers should not be more than 80% of their capacity.
During this summer, transformers at different sub-stations developed technical snags. On Monday, power supply remained disrupted in a majority of north sectors in the city as two transformers at Kishangarh sub-station broke down due to overloading. In the past, electricity department invited flak from the JERC on several occasions for poor planning and management.
When contacted, UT superintending engineer MP Singh said setting up of 100-MVA transformer was a time-consuming process and they required more time to install the sanctioned transformer at Kishangarh sub-station. However, he said, all remaining 11-KV transformers would be installed soon.
Singh conceded that once operational, the transformers would take care of all requirements for the next five years.
The power requirement of the city is met through central generating power stations (CGS) of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) as determined by the government.
There are nearly 2.5 lakh consumers in different categories. Of these, 1.75 lakh fall in the domestic category.
Besides this, around 12 projects of the electricity department continue to drag on for years together. For improving electricity distribution infrastructure in the city, the department had allotted eight projects worth about Rs 45 crore to PGCIL and three projects with estimated cost of around Rs 18 crore to NTPCL. All projects are behind schedule.