Caught in a never-felt-and-seen-before hot April, Delhi has sent an SOS to the Centre for more power to meet the growing demand and to showcase the city’s power management capability prior to the Commonwealth Games.
In a letter to Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, CM Sheila Dikshit has sought “at least 25 per cent”, instead of the usual 20-22 per cent, of the 1,430 MW of Central power.
Usually, Delhi’s share of this power starts from May 1. But this year, Delhi wanted it early —from April 15.
“This summer would be a showcase to the stakeholders of the Commonwealth Games… about the power supply scenario in Delhi preceding the Games. Hence, we need to ensure availability of power even in emergency situations,” she wrote.
But, the centre hasn’t replied and neither has the central power started flowing to Delhi. South, east and west Delhi have already started reeling under 2 to 4 hour power cuts.
Dikshit is slated to take up the matter with Shinde soon.
“While we haven’t heard from the Union ministry yet, we are hoping for a positive response,” said Delhi Power Secretary Rajendra Kumar. “We need this power also because we haven’t received the power promised from West Bengal.”
Last year, in the middle of unprecedented power cuts and shortage, around 300 MW from the Centre had saved Delhi.
The Union Ministry is committed to send the entire unallocated power during the Games, but Dikshit has argued that the demand in October will not be as high as in summer, hence the request now.
Meanwhile, sensing the availability of cheap power, the discoms have warned that this summer would also be fraught with unbridled power cuts if the Central power does not arrive.
“We do not have money for expensive power from the Power Exchange. We also don’t have the cash to pay for the existing tie-ups,” claimed a discom official.
For the sceptics, the discoms might just have found yet another reason to unleash a reign of power cuts on the city.