An election summer lies ahead and the Congress government in Delhi does not want unhappy voters. So, it is trying to spare Delhiites long power cuts.
The government has asked the Capital’s power distribution companies (distcoms) to arrange for 4500 MW power this summer. That’s an unprecedented 12 per cent year-on-year increase in projected demand.
Sources said the distcoms, on their own, had anticipated a 4 per cent increase in power requirement over last summer, which is normal.
“Delhi has clearly overbooked itself in terms of power requirement. The Congress does not want to go asking for votes to people reeling under power cuts. But the demand is unlikely to shoot anywhere close to that figure,” said a senior power department official who did not wish to be named.
Last year, after braving two very hot summers in 2006 and 2007, Delhi had projected a peak requirement of 4200 MW. But it used only 4034 MW.
The distcoms claim they are ready to meet the requirement.
Reliance-backed BSES and Tata’s North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) claimed they would meet around 80 per cent of the demand through the government’s long-term power purchase agreements.
To supply the balance, BSES claimed around 200 MW would come from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai through ‘banked power’. Under this deal, the distcoms would be liable to supply the same amount of power to the supplier states when they need it.
Likewise, NDPL will get 300 MW through banking with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.