As Delhi’s three discoms brace for peak summer demand of 6,500 MW amid pressure from the government to provide uninterrupted supply, data reveals that in the first half of June, almost 1,000 city locations saw unplanned outages for more than an hour.
Intermittent tripping, damaged and faulty cables, failure of transformers and broken poles are some of the common reasons given to explain cuts.
So it has again become apparent that the real issue confronting the discoms is not the availability of power, but the failure of the distribution and the transmission companies to strengthen the infrastructure before summer.
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From June 1 to June 15, over 1,000 locations saw unplanned outages for more than hour. The 14 districts of central and east Delhi, from where Reliance-owned BYPL operates, saw 353 locations that experienced an unplanned outage for more than an hour. On one single day, 10 hours of power cut was reported due to a faulty transformer.
In the 19 districts of South and West districts where BRPL operates, 369 location experienced unplanned outages. The North and Northwest districts looked after by TATA-owned TPDDL saw 327 locations experiencing outages in the fortnight.
Central and East Delhi, which has over 13 lakh customers in densely populated areas such as Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, Paharganj, Krishna Nagar and Mayur Vihar, saw 353 locations with outages of more than one hour. The reason: faulty transformer and damaged high-tension cables. For instance, Mandawali Budha Marg in Fazalpur saw 10 hours of power cut due to the “delay” in replacing a faulty 630 kvA transformer.
On 13 June, Swasthya Vihar in East Delhi saw a power cut for more than 10 hours, after the agencies had to replace three damaged poles. On an average, 23 locations saw unplanned outages every day till June 15 that lasted for an average of almost two hours.
In the south and west districts with about 20 lakh consumers, 369 locations had outages for more than one hour. The two districts saw the maximum numbers of “tripping” due to heavy summer demand. Thirteen days in June saw as many 321 locations experiencing cuts due to tripping.
Tripping is either caused due to the excess thermal load or short circuit. For instance on 13 June, when the city saw heavy storm with gusts of 80 kmph, as many as 81 locations saw power outages. Vasant Kunj B 11 block saw an outage of over four hours.
North and north-west districts, with a registered consumer base of 14 lakh and peak load of around 1704 MW, saw 327 outage cases.
The rural areas in Bawana and Narela experienced repeated cuts. On four days, areas in Narela alone saw outages for more than two hours due to either broken poles or for repair of faulty cables. Areas in Bawana clocked the highest duration of five hours of power outage on June 1. On an average, 21 locations experienced outages for more than one hour.
Sources in the discoms told The Indian Express that they are working in tandem with the Delhi Transmission to solve the problems. A “sub-transmission health assessment” is also being done to rectify the problems. Discoms have also cited “cable puncture” as a cause of outages and told civic agencies to seek their permission before digging along any corridors.