Apex court takes Govt to task over power shortage
The SC expressed its dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Delhi Govt to overcome the power crisis and sought a status report from it within 3 weeks, reports Satya Prakash.delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2008 23:40 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Delhi government to overcome the power crisis in the national capital and sought a status report from it within three weeks.
"You have only given data about future but have not talked about today's situation," a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan told the Delhi Government counsel during hearing of a PIL on power crisis in the capital.
The court's observation came after senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, pointed out that the Delhi Government's affidavit did not address the current crisis and the possibility of alternative source of power generation.
Kumar said the affidavit talked about possible power situation in 2010 at the time of the Commonwealth Games but there was nothing about 2008 even as various areas of the city faced power cuts of three to four hours every day.
He suggested that the Delhi Government should purchase power to meet the shortfall of 500 MW a day.
The court was not impressed with the Delhi Government counsel Ashok Bhan's submission that power shortage was a national problem. It asked the city government to file a status report within three weeks on the current power crisis and the measures taken to tackle it.
On behalf of the private power distributors, senior counsel Arun Jaitley submitted that after privatisation of electricity distribution in the capital, power supply has improved. He said during peak season, distribution companies were forced to purchase power from the national grid at much higher rate of Rs 10 to Rs 11 per unit.
Transco's counsel S.K. Dubey pointed out that it was for the private distribution companies to arrange power for supply as it was no more the responsibility of the Delhi Government.
"Let them purchase more power," Kumar said. Earlier, he pointed out that the court had on January 8 this year sought details on power generation, distribution and the shortage after the Centre's counsel submitted that it was for the NCT government to deal with it.