As Delhi reeled under long spells of power outages and scorching summer heat, Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said it will take 15 days to restore normal power supply even as temporary measures to boost generation were put in place. Goyal said the Centre has drawn up an action plan to ease the power crisis in the city with short-term measures to generate 400 megawatts of additional power by tonight.
Speaking after a two-and-a-half hour emergency meeting with Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and senior executives of Delhi Transco, Power Grid Corporation and power utilities, the minister warned that dilapidated power grids could not cope with the extra electricity needed to meet demand. Inadequate transmission lines meant Delhi could absorb 400 MW of power on top of its existing 5,300 MW, falling short of current peak demand of 5,800 MW.
He blamed the “massive policy paralysis, poor decision making” of the previous Delhi government for the problems in power sector. The Centre has offered its assistance to the Delhi government and its utilities to restore power transmission systems in mission mode, the minister said. Goyal, however, added that transmission lines damaged by last month’s severe storm will be repaired in 15 days.
Besides repairing broken lines within 24 hours, the government has ordered GAIL to provide extra natural gas to power plants in the national capital. North India has endured a heatwave in the last week, with temperatures in some parts of Delhi reaching a 62-year high, sending power demand surging.
The meeting was called amid protests in several parts of the city over long and recurrent outages in the scorching summer heat.
Goyal said state-run NTPC Ltd has been asked to transfer some of its natural gas to power projects run by the Delhi government to increase local generation by 400 MW. Also, state gas utility GAIL India Ltd will divert 0.9 million standard cubic meters a day of domestic gas from the now-shut Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra to units in Delhi to generate an additional 218 MW, an oil ministry official said.
This will help BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and Tata Power, the companies that supply electricity in Delhi, as they are unable to draw power from projects located in other states because of the damage to transmission lines. The discoms have also been directed to come up with daily bulletins on the schedule of outages at 8 am every day. “A holistic vision and plan for Delhi has been
non-existent for a decade. Lack of decision making, lack of investment in infrastructure and lack of forward planning in last 12 years is responsible for the problem,” Goyal said.
NTPC will divert gas to Bawana power plant which has a capacity of 1,500 MW but is generating only 290 MW. The additional continued…