The expected 10-hour long power cuts in Delhi have been staved off till at least February 10 with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) on Saturday giving two Reliance Infrastructure’s discoms more time to pay their dues.
Nearly 34 lakh consumers in central, south, east and west Delhi may face blackout if the two discoms fail to pay Rs. 449 crore to the NTPC by February 10.
BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL), which caters to east and central Delhi, got an NTPC notice to pay the January bill of Rs. 179 crore by February 10 or supply from NTPC plants would be snapped. BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL), which caters to south and west Delhi, also got a notice.
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BRPL sources said the discom had paid the January bill but failed to renew letter of credit (a payment security mechanism). Its supply will also be snapped if it does not pay NTPC Rs. 270 crore, sources said.
Earlier in the day, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at the discoms for the proposed power cuts and said that the “truth (about their financial condition) would come out in the CAG audit”.
Sources in BYPL and BRPL said the two discoms were trying to arrange for the money but did not rule out a blackout.
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The distributors are likely to meet the Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation on Monday for short-term loans to pay the NTCP.
There may not be much relief in north Delhi as well, where Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) distributes electricity. TPDDL has asked the government to release the subsidy amount it recently announced to cut consumers’ power bills by half or residents will not get the subsidy benefits.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission gives power generation companies such as NTPC, which provides 70% of the city’s power, the authority to regulate power supply in case letters of credit, which are assurances of payment, are not maintained.
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