The Delhi government has decided to pump in nearly Rs. 500 crore to improve the power transmission network in the Capital, HT has learnt.
These transmission lines – crucial to power distribution – have been neglected for many years, with little investment made to augment their network. The Rs. 500 crore would be part of the Delhi budget to be approved by July, according to sources.
The Delhi government is also planning to re-introduce a power subsidy for the poor who consume up to 200 units, said sources.
The poor state of the transmission network was exposed by the May 30 storm that hit Delhi, damaging several major transmission lines and plunging the Capital into complete darkness. While assessing the damage and repairing the network, power department officials said they decided to invest substantially to strengthen the power supply lines.
Delhi’s transmission system is aged and inadequate, and hasn’t kept pace with increasing power load, said experts. Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung had asked the power department to initiate new projects to improve the transmission system, sources added.
“It has been over a decade since power distribution was privatised but the kind of investment that was needed hasn’t materialised. Funds will be used by power generation firms and Transco limited to upgrade transmission lines and other infrastructure,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Senior officials from the Delhi Transco Limited — responsible for supplying power from generating plants to discoms — had said that it is facing constraints in augmenting infrastructure due to scarcity of land, financial constraints and other clearances.
Explaining the need for a subsidy, a source said, “An elected Delhi government would take a decision on subsidised power. But to ensure vulnerable sections of society aren’t burdened by increasing tariffs, a budgetary provision is being made to provide them relief.”