On Thursday, Delhi burned. At 42.3 degrees Celsius—six degrees above normal—the temperature was the highest for this day in the past 10 years. The ‘felt temperature’ was around 44 degree Celsius.
If you are wondering why the temperature has gone up suddenly, here’s the answer: It’s because there’s been no rainfall in the Northern plains. This condition will continue for some time, says the Duty Officer at the Safdarjung Met office.
And with the rising temperature, Delhi’s appetite for power consumption has gone up. So far, Delhi has consumed 73 million units of power this April as against 670 million units in the same period last year, an increase of 27 per cent, records show.
This month, the maximum load touched 3,764 MW on Wednesday as against 3,147 MW this time last year. Taking a cue from this rise in power consumption, the Power department on Thursday attributed the recent power cuts to the “unprecedented hot summer”.
Large parts of South and West Delhi areas have been suffering between four and six hours of power cuts, especially at night, over the past few days.
Officials said the high load was causing the transmission and distribution infrastructure to break down under pressure thus causing sporadic outages.
The overdrawal of power from the Northern Grid by the constituent states, especially Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, made the grid unstable causing under-frequency relays and, therefore, power cuts, around 20 times on Thursday.
There is still more bad news, especially for south Delhi residents: the planned shutdown of a Delhi Transco transmission line from Maharani Bagh to Lodhi Road for the construction of Barapullah Nullah may cause more power cuts in Lodhi Sunder Nagar, Defence Colony, Lodhi Colony, Udai Park and nearby areas.
Thursday started on a muggy note as the morning temperature was at 23.6 degree Celsius, a couple of notches higher than normal. This day last year, the temperatures oscillated between a considerably cooler 21 and 40 degrees Celsius.
“A few rainbearing clouds did emerge over the hills in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal, but they were too feeble to affect the plains, least of all Delhi,” he said. “No reprieve is expected anytime soon.”