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Capital gasping for power, water

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2008 03:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The power situation in Delhi on account of overdraw of power from the Northern Power Grid by some of the northern states has set the alarm bells ringing.

While Delhi Power Minister is writing to Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh to intervene and resolve the crisis, the Northern Region Power Committee (NRPC) called an emergency meeting of all the nine states, which draw power from the Northern Grid, on Thursday and directed them to show restraint.

Meanwhile, power lines in the city tripped 85 times on Thursday because of ‘under frequency’ (when frequency falls below 49 Hertz) in the grid. Demand for power also touched the season’s highest of 3,278 MW. As against the soaring demand, generation at the Delhi-based plants was 1,318 MW at 8 p.m. The situation has been like this since the beginning of this week. “We have been forced to resort to load shedding because of under frequency. Otherwise, the grid might collapse plunging the entire north India into darkness,” said a distcom official.

“The grid security is being severely endangered with states like Uttar Pradesh overdrawing up to 1,000 MW when the grid frequency is below the permissible level of 49 Hertz. We have asked all the northern states to restrict the amount of power they draw from the grid,” said a power grid official who attended the meeting.

The official said the rising temperature and subsequent increase in demand resulted in the entire northern region reeling under a shortfall of 4,000 MW.

The problem was further compounded because of low generation from the hydel power plants. “The hydro plants are generating 2,000 MW less due to inadequate water in the rivers and many thermal units are under annual maintenance,” said an official.

On Thursday, large parts of east, south, west, and northwest Delhi experienced up to four hours of intermittent cuts. Worst affected areas included Rohini, Dwarka, Paschim Vihar, Pitampura, Janakpuri, Shalimar Bagh, Kalkaji, Sriniwaspuri, Alaknanda, Greater Kailash, Malviya Nagar, Sheikh Sarai, Mayur Vihar, Patparganj and some adjoining areas.

“There is no power at my house for one hour now. The supply has been erratic since the last one week,” said Kavita Singh, a resident of Sector 13 B in Dwarka.