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Delhiites to sweat it out this summer

delhi Updated: May 06, 2011 00:24 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The city's notorious appetite for electricity in summer is becoming more visible with the peak demand rising beyond the 4000MW mark and a few parts of the Capital witnessing power cuts.

With the demand rising to 4252MW, people in parts of the city sweated it out as power cuts ranged between 15 and 90 minutes in Mayur Vihar, Dwarka, Janakpuri and Safdarjung Enclave.

Delhi's power discoms are yet to make sufficient arrangements for the estimated power demand in the coming days of torrid summer. Their summer banking and tie-ups have kept them at least 500MW short of the estimate.

The discoms have not yet tied up with Delhi's Bawana power plant because the its two units is generating power priced between Rs 6 and Rs 7, which is too costly for them. Power from

two units of Haryana's Jhajjar power plant will arrive later this year.

The 400-odd megawatts expected from West Bengal's Damodar Valley Corporation is unreliable because shortage of coal and rise in local demands have made this power generating company a continued "defaulter" in the past few years.

NTPC Dadri, from where Delhi was supposed to get around 800 MW, has undergone revision in Central rules and decreased the Capital's allocation.

"We will eventually get the 500MW from somewhere, but we cannot buy power from Bawana as it is too costly. We have made arrangements with other generating stations," said Lalit Jalan, CEO of Reliance Infra, which controls the BSES discoms in Delhi.

Delhi has also asked the ministry of power for additional 350MW to make up for the shortfall but so far there has been no word on it though the city's power department is still hopeful.

As power from these generators is quite cheap, discoms prefer them as opposed to buying from other commercial sources.

This summer, Delhi is expected to throw up a peak power demand of over 5000MW, higher than last year's 4720MW.

And meanwhile, the annual ritual of power cuts have begun. While officials claim that local faults and maintenance shutdowns are the reasons and that the duration of the cuts are low, residents claim otherwise.

"There was no power for over one hour last night," complained Neelam Kumar, a resident of DDA fats in Dwarka Sector 1.