Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal announced Central assistance to resolve the power issue within the next fortnight. The announcement came after his meeting with Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung, senior officials of his ministry, the Delhi government and the private power distribution companies on Tuesday. “The Central government will assist the Delhi government and their utilities to complete all tasks in a time-bound manner to provide continuous and reliable power to consumers of Delhi at the earliest,” a statement by Goyal’s office said.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has been directed to take up permanent restoration of damaged power lines within two weeks “against the normal time taken of about two months”. Putting the onus of shoddy maintenance of power infrastructure during the previous Congress-led government in Delhi, the statement said: “It was observed that the transmission system of Delhi is not capable of meeting peak loads, as the system has not been sufficiently upgraded in the last 12 years. Adequate investment in strengthening of the sub-transmission and distribution system has not been undertaken… This has resulted in overloading of the existing system as an when the demand has gone up.”Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday tweeted that he has spoken to the L-G for an early resolution of the power crisis in the capital.
The meeting called by the Power minister pondered upon the “extreme heat conditions” in Delhi that have led to “unrestricted peak demand”— as high as 5,400 MW— “resulting in load shedding”. “The situation was worsened by the storm on May 30, in which the sub-transmission and distribution system got affected. Three main transmission lines of 220 KV, namely Gopalpur-Mandola, Bamnauli-Papankalan and Bawana-Rohini got severely damaged, which affected supply to East ,West and Central Delhi,” the minister’s statement said.
Goyal said his ministry immediately swung into action “and helped the Delhi government in restoring the three lines through the Emergency Restoration System (ERS) supplied by PGCIL”. The state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has also “voluntarily foregone its allocated gas from other stations and requested GAIL to allocate it to Delhi’s Bawana plant to produce another 400MW power or as much as power as Delhi requires”.
The BHEL has been also been directed to urgently commission a unit of Pragati gas-based plant, which is currently under repair. The minister has also directed the Delhi government to “effectively monitor the implementation of eight sub-stations and seven transmission lines,” currently under execution by them. The discoms are learnt to have committed to make “every effort to stick to planned outages”. The minister has also directed that the Maharani Bagh-Ghazipur line be completed in one week’s time.
“The DMRC was asked to assist DTL to repair the Maharani Bagh-Trauma Centre line within one week. Similarly, 400KV Dadri-Loni-Harsh Vihar line will be completed in two weeks,” the release said.