No residential area in Gurugram using DG sets for main power supply, says DHBVN

Updated on Sep 30, 2022 12:09 AM IST

DHBVN officials said there were at least 15 townships in Gurugram that, until last year, used DG sets on a large scale basis to meet power needs but developers were taken to task and told to put in required infrastructure or deposit a bank guarantee to the DHBVN after which connections were provided and supply was streamlined to do away with DG sets.

A DHBVN worker fixes electricity distribution lines at Civil Lines in Gurugram. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
A DHBVN worker fixes electricity distribution lines at Civil Lines in Gurugram. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
ByDebashish Karmakar and Abhishek Behl

No residential area in Gurugram is using diesel generator sets (DG sets) for regular power supply as Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN) has given direct connections, including temporary setups, to nearly all residential projects across the city in the last one year, officials of the power discom said Thursday..

The statement from DHBVN came ahead of a ban on DG sets that is set to kick in from October 1 in the National Capital Region (NCR), including Gurugram, as part of measures under the graded response action plan (Grap) to control air pollution in winter.

According to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), the agency tasked with enforcing the revamped Grap in Delhi-NCR, all existing DG sets must be converted to hybrid or dual fuel mode (70% gas-based fuel and 30% diesel) and be equipped with retrofitted emission control devices. Alternatively, only CNG/ PNG DG sets are to be used by industrial units from October 1, 2022.

On September 20, heeding the pleas of industrialists, the CAQM issued revised directions, allowing the use of dual fuel mode DG sets for two hours daily, only for industrial and commercial purposes. In residential areas such as condominiums, townships or housing colonies, DG sets will be used only to power lifts and utilities in the common areas.

DHBVN officials said there were at least 15 townships in Gurugram that, until last year, used DG sets on a large scale basis to meet power needs but developers were taken to task and told to put in required infrastructure or deposit a bank guarantee to the DHBVN after which connections were provided and supply was streamlined to do away with DG sets.

PC Meena, managing director of DHBVN, said, “Developers had not created adequate power supply infrastructure in their occupied projects. However, nearly all these inadequacies have been dealt with over the past one year, except for two townships in New Gurugram near the Dwarka Expressway.”

The MD said the developers of these two projects have also made significant improvements in the past three months to rectify shortcomings. “Our infrastructure can handle much more that the present demand/load. Outages arising from any local fault is a different matter,” he said.

“DG sets might be required only in case of a breakdown, and Grap allows their use in such a circumstance. But we have ensured that even such problems are resolved in a timebound manner. We have already carried out preventive maintenance and our position is comfortable,” Meena said.

Officials said at least nine to 10 developers in Gurugram are yet to deposit the inadequacy amount of around 330 crore to the DHBVN that is meant to be used for development of supply infrastructure in the respective projects.

A senior DHBVN official said these townships and condominiums have DG sets but they are not used brazenly. “Only in case of an outage do builders and RWAs use them,” he said.

Amit Kamboj, executive engineer (sub-urban Gurugram, Circle-II), said they have asked for additional staff to strengthen the maintenance wing, which has taken over the infrastructure in several developer colonies.

“Once we get more hands, outages could be dealt with more quickly. Also, our smart city project is 70% complete and may take another three months. After that, outages would not happen as our grid would have an alternative supply source,” he said, adding that they were able to fix outages within the hour even amid the recent downpour in the city.

However, YS Gulia, executive engineer of the chief electrical inspector (CEI) department, which is tasked to implement the ban, said DG sets are still being used clandestinely, especially in the industrial sector.

“Practically, it would take some time for the ban to come into full effect. We are awaiting directions on what action needs to be taken in case of a violation,” he said.

Several residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) have started making preparations in view of the DG set ban. They have sent notices to residents warning them that there will be no supply to flats, basements, club, banquet halls, shops and related areas in case the grid supply fails. The notice said supply will be available to power lifts, water treatment plant and sewage treatment plant. Residents were also told to make backup arrangements for inverters, torches and emergency lights.

Pravin Malik, president, SARE Home RWA, said, “The infrastructure from substation to the project, such as power cables, are the responsibility of the developer an when a snag happens, the developer takes hours to rectify it. Many people are working from home now, students are taking online classes, and there are patients who need 24-hour power to run health equipment.The restriction on running DG sets will make life difficult for all,” he said.

Several residents also said DG sets in several condominiums were neither retrofitted nor of dual fuel functionality. They also said in some cases, due to low sanctioned load from grid supply, they are forced to depend on generators.

“We are facing outages of more than 4-5 hours daily, as due to the low sanctioned load, there is frequent tripping that often leads to outages,” said Dhirendra Singh, a resident of Mapsko Mount Ville.

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said it has asked the power department to ensure seamless supply during winter, adding that action will be taken against those who operate DG sets during restrictions.

“We, as well as other civic agencies, have formed teams for implementing the Grap norms. In case, any RWA or industry is found running DG sets during restrictions, they will face sealing, environmental compensation penalty and a case before the environment court,” said Kuldip Singh, regional officer, HSPCB.

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