Power cuts returned to the city on Thursday as a major snag led to a shortfall of 800 megawatts, affecting parts of south and central Delhi.
Delhi power minister Satyender Jain said supply was affected because power generation units at the Badarpur Thermal Power Station (BTPS) and the Pragati Power Plant tripped after a transformer of the 220kV Samaypur – Palwal line exploded.
Supply was crippled around 2.30 pm when the peak power load was around 5,800 MW, a Delhi Transco Limited official said. The system was up and running by 5.30 pm, he said.
Jain said the NTPC-run Badarpur plant was operating below capacity since May 1.
“The Badarpur power plant was closed for two hours on May 1, for 21 hours on May 10. One of its units remained completely dysfunctional between May 11 and May 21. It was again closed between June 3 and June 6. It affected power supply in south and east Delhi,” Jain said.
The thermal power plant, which is coal-based, was identified as a major polluter by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) last year and was served an immediate closure notice. Later, a 210 MW unit was given permission to operate but four others were shut down.
According to Jain, the availability of power was not a problem but old transmission lines were an issue. “The lines are very old. We can take power from anywhere but don’t have a system to transmit power,” he said.