As the temperature rose to 45 degree Celsius on Thursday, south Delhiites could not even switch on fans to beat the heat. The heat caused lines to trip, leading to power cuts for as long as five hours in large parts of south Delhi.
While two lines of Badarpur and Mehrauli tripped in the afternoon, another line of Badarpur Okhla also tripped later, compounding the problem further.
Power department officials said there was a shortage of nearly 500MW due to tripping. The peak power demand on Thursday was 4,963MW.Officials blamed the outages on unauthorised construction. Areas such as Saket, Gulmohar Park, South Extension, Greater Kailash I, Mehrauli, Kailash Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Vasant Vihar, CR Park and Alaknanda among others were affected.
“People have encroached upon the land beneath power lines. This disrupts smooth supply of power and maintenance of lines,” said Rishi Raj, spokesperson of Transco Limited.
“It was a terrible day. We didn’t have power for two straight hours. And throughout the day, the supply remained intermittent and the voltage kept fluctuating,” said Harvinder Singh, a member of Lajpat Nagar Residents Welfare Association.
“There was no power since the afternoon. Even the back-up supply has exhausted now,” said Aakriti Sethi of Munirka.
According to a power department official, a circuit of BTPS-Mehrauli line tripped at 2.12pm at Sangam Vihar due to a spark, which resulted in fire. It was found that the right of way and the minimum clearance required for the transmission line was not appropriate as many have constructed homes under as well as near the transmission lines.
The inspection team found that the occupant of the house where the incident happened had stacked material on the roof just beneath the transmission lines, thereby damaging it. The line was being repaired.
The second circuit of the line was also shut down at 3.34pm on the advice of fire department.