With temperature, power demand too soared in the Capital, touching a new high of 5,178MW. This led to long power cuts across the city. The previous high had been recorded on Wednesday when the power demand peaked at 5,155 MW.
“The maximum power demand in the city touched 5,178 MW on Friday, which is a new record of power consumption in Delhi. Considering the rate at which power demand is rising, it is all set to cross the 5,500 MW mark,” said a power department official.
In south Delhi, the demand rose to 2,062 MW, an all-time high. The combination of power cuts and scorching heat had Delhiites sweating and fuming.
Many areas in Delhi reported outages for as long as two hours while others said the supply kept fluctuating for several hours altogether — the supply was restored for 15-20 minutes between two long outages.
“Apart from power supply being hit, it is fluctuating too. There was no power for two straight hours,” said Rashmi Sinha, a resident of Sarita Vihar.
Outages also disrupted the functioning of water treatment plants across the Capital, thereby affecting water supply.
Sources said power demand in the Capital has been rising at a rate of nearly 10 per cent in the past few years and as per a government estimate, it will reach 5,500 MW this summer.
Delhi Transco has pinned the blame of constant tripping of power lines on unauthorised constructions. “We have written to the land-owning agencies to remove the obstacles in the right of way of the transmission lines but to no avail. Notices have been issued to the owners of unauthorised structures to remove the encroachment,” a senior power department official said.
Delhi had started off with just a 2MW power demand in 1905 which r ose to 27MW in 1947. Nearly five decades later, in 1997, the power demand had risen to 2,303 MW. Ten years later, it rose to 3,097 MW while in 2007, it touched 4,030 MW.
In 2009, the peak the power demand had touched was 4,408 MW. The highest demand was 4,720MW in 2010 and 5,028 MW last year.