Had the weekend showers not played saviour, the heat, combined with the daily power cuts, would have melted the people of the National Capital Region into a sad puddle.
But for a problem that is completely man made, it might make better sense for state governments to look for more permanent solutions, than depend on nature for temporary relief.
Former power secretary R V Shahi says it like it is. "Inadequate availability of fuel, especially coal, and unwillingness on part of the state governments to increase power tariffs is leading to persistent power cuts."
What makes the whole thing so ironic is that only three months ago (in April), Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was applauded in Parliament when he announced that India had seen a record power generation of 19,459 mega watt (MW) in 2011-12. It is to be noted that 20,000 MW of India's power capacity this year has gone unutilised due to lack of coal.
Gurgaon residents owe their 12 to 14 hours a day power cuts to coal. One of the two power plants at Jhajjar remains non functional for want of coal.
Anurag Agarwal, managing director of Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited said the state is planning to adopt the franchisee model that allows private payers to distribute electricity, in Panipat. "A similar plan for Gurgaon was opposed by Nigam employees."
In Noida, which is only slightly better off than Gurgaon, with 8 hours of power cuts daily, the problem is different. "The state government must increase generation and improve distribution. More sub-stations are needed," says Vipin Malhan, president, Noida entrepreneur association.In Delhi itself, power shortfall might not be an issue, but poor infrastructure, ill-maintained transmission lines and transformers are. To counter this, the three discoms have invested Rs. 5,000 crore to upgrade infrastructure and more projects are in the pipeline.