‘In other states, 11-12 hr outages are normal’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘In other states, 11-12 hr outages are normal’

Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit talks to Anuradha Mukherjee about the power crisis and measures to meet demand.

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2009 00:01 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

What is your feedback on the power situation?

There are some areas that have a problem. But it's not as if there is a problem across Delhi. There are local breakdowns, too, and it might take 1-2 hours to fix them. There is a power shortage across Northern Grid - if this continues, we will have longer outages. But no continuous 10-11 hour power outages are taking place. People call me up to report outages. I am personally calling up discoms to find out the problem.

Are the discoms buying power to handle the situation? How much power have they bought so far?

Discoms are buying power - I would not be able to give an exact figure. Breakdowns are also taking place because of the weather - it's too hot. Local sub-stations are breaking down because of the heat.

Why had the discoms not made alternative arrangements since some of the power corporations have not proven reliable players?

They have made arrangements. But there has been a jump in temperature and there is an overall shortfall. In other states, 11-12 hour outages are normal.

Why aren't discoms buying power from the market? Are they scared of not meeting their financial bottomlines?

Discoms are telling me that they are getting power at Rs 7-8 per unit. Of course, they would like to buy the cheapest power. If the situation arises, we will ask them to buy more expensive power. We will ask shops to shut early, switch off neon signs. I have called a meeting of all MLAs on Tuesday on power. We will take a decision after consulting everybody.

Why are loadshedding schedules not being publicised?

They (discoms) can't. Outages are taking place when power trips. How can they tell in advance? It's an extraordinary situation. Discoms are doing fine. In last two years, they have scaled down losses from 56-57 per cent to 15 per cent in NDPL areas and 20-22 per cent in BSES areas.

Under what circumstances can the contract of discoms be revoked?

I can’t tell you that, I don't know. What is the alternative? It's not like I have given a door to be constructed and I cancel their contract. This is a PPP (public-private partnership) model — and would you rather that a government body handled power and there is chaos like it used to be some years back. I remember sitting out on the roads for 8-9 hours during power cuts. Even if we get a new player at this stage, it will take them 2-3 years to simply understand the situation.