The Capital's insatiable appetite for electricity took the power demand beyond 5,000 megawatts, a never-before landmark, on Tuesday even as monsoon rains kept evading the city.
At 5,028 MW, this beat the previous record of 4,994 MW attained on June 24. The mugginess in the air with escalating humidity coupled with the absence of the rains sent the millions of air-conditioners and other cooling devices at homes, offices and markets on a gigantic power-guzzling spree over the past few days. At 3pm on Tuesday, it broke all records.
Thankfully for Delhiites, the officials managing the city's power supply apparatus had seen it coming.
Starting with just about 2,831 MW as the peak power demand at the turn of the new millennium, Delhi has overshot all projections of power demand in the past 10 years. In 1947, the demand was a tiny 27 MW.
The biggest leap to this dubious achievement was in 2008 when Delhi, starting to don the look of a global metropolis and a soon-to-be host of the Commonwealth Games, gobbled up 4,000 MW of electricity even though the city itself generated only a quarter of it. Since then there was no looking back.
Its own generation figures still remain almost the same, but its hunger keeps growing every year.
It took Delhi less than three years to graduate from the 4,000 MW to 5,000 MW.
Delhi's power transmission utility, the state-owned Delhi Transco (DTL), marked the day as an achievement as it could provide this inordinate amount of power to the feeders of the distribution companies without any hiccups. This was just 24 hours after it inadvertently caused a six-hour power-cut in west Delhi when its 220 KV substation developed a snag on Monday afternoon.
"Though the discoms have made adequate arrangements of power, we appeal to the public to conserve electricity in national interest and use electrical appliances judiciously" said Rishi Raj, the DTL spokesman.
The distribution companies did not have to resort to load-shedding as the demand was anticipated. "We can comfortably manage a bit more if need be, but then we desperately also need the rains to provide some relief. This year monsoon is not coming to our rescue as much as we would have wanted," said a senior official from the power department.