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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Day 1 of DG set ban in Gurgaon sees few power cuts, but many anxious about coming days

DG sets have been banned from October 15 in Delhi-NCR under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), to keep a check on pollution.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon | October 16, 2020 1:26:15 am
Graded Response Action Plan, delhi pollution, NCR diesel set ban, delhi air quality, diesel set ban delhi, diesel set ban Gurgaon, delhi news, indian expressA grey Wednesday in New Delhi. Air quality in NCR has been falling again. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna)

The first day of the diesel generator ban saw little impact in Gurgaon on Thursday, with residents and businesses saying electricity supply remained uninterrupted. However, many fear that in the event of electricity supply being cut off in the coming days, the consequences for them will be massive.

Speaking to The Indian Express, officials from the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) said there are 60 establishments in Gurgaon, commercial and residential, that are completely or partially dependent on diesel generator sets. These include 22 residential complexes, of which 19 are partially dependent on diesel generator sets and three fully dependent on them. The latter – DLF’s Camellias, which has no occupants as of now, Crest, which has 1,392 consumers, and Express Greens in Manesar, which has 70 consumers – all had electricity supply on Thursday, confirmed officials, but refused to divulge details on how this had been arranged in the absence of diesel generators.

Many feared this would be a temporary situation.

Anil Bajaj, who owns the 70 year old Shyam Sweets in Sadar Bazaar, said, “We depend on our diesel generator sets whenever electricity goes. Things have been better since the lockdown but sometimes there is a power cut for two-three hours, how will we manage if this happens now? Electricity has not gone today but if it does, there will be a lot of problems. We have curd, milk, Bengali sweets, we need our fridge to run or these will be ruined. Even our weighing scales operate on electricity.”

For industries still recovering from the Covid-induced lockdown also, association members said the fears of economic losses are massive. “There has not been an impact today and officials from the electricity board have reassured us they will impose as little cuts as possible and carry out maintenance quickly to minimise the need for generators. But industries should be permitted to run generators if electricity goes off. Right now, if the electricity trips, we can have a lot of issues… tools can break, jobs get rejected,” said Deepak Maini, general secretary of the Haryana Chapter of the Federation of Indian Industry.

“If generators cannot run, people who have a regular process, like heat treatment, or malt companies that have a regular process of 30 or 40 hours and cannot turn off their boilers at the time – they will have a lot of problems. The government should either ensure electricity is uninterrupted or permit us to run generators when it goes,” he said.

Commercial establishments dependent on generator sets said they are still figuring out how to operate if the electricity does go off. “Supply has been consistent today but we will seek an update from our maintenance team and figure out a solution to the problem. We have an electricity connection but the generator has to be used sometimes if electricity goes off,” said Aman Bajaj, member of the MGF Metropolitan Mall Association.

With the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) coming into force in the city on Thursday, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) also began efforts towards enforcement with deployment of 40 water sprinklers. These will operate as per an area wise and road wise schedule, sprinkling treated water on trees and roads to prevent dust from flying.

An Air Lab was also inaugurated in the district Thursday to monitor the air quality, collate data related to GRAP, and monitor complaints received through social media and the Sameer app to ensure quick resolution. “Responsibilities have been allotted to officials for enforcement of GRAP and teams have been constituted to take action against those found violating norms,” said MCG Mayor Madhu Azad.

Will consider relaxing DG set ban in Gurgaon after Haryana submits detailed affidavit: EPCA

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) Thursday said it will consider relaxing the diesel generator set ban in Gurgaon and Faridabad after Haryana submits a detailed affidavit. DG sets have been banned from October 15 in Delhi-NCR under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), to keep a check on pollution.

EPCA chairman Bhure Lal Thursday told Haryana’s additional chief secretary of the power department, Trilok C Gupta, that the latter had confirmed last year that all colonies will be connected to power grids before the onset of winter 2020. “It was not done. In this circumstance, it will be very difficult for EPCA to grant further extension,” Lal said in a letter.

He added, “However, keeping difficulties of residents in mind, we would like a more detailed and comprehensive affidavit from the state government, laying down strict time schedules (for connection to the grid) for colonies fully and partially dependent on DG sets. Schedules for these colonies should be staggered so we can see compliance even during critical winter months.”

Earlier this week, Gupta informed EPCA that around 14,000 residents of Gurgaon and Faridabad won’t get electricity if diesel gensets are not allowed. Of these, 2,200 would not get any electricity at all as they are completely dependent on DG sets for power, as builders and developers had not cleared deficiencies crucial for getting power connections, Gupta had said.

In the letter, Lal said the affidavit should be signed by the government, representatives of the colonies and builders. “Only then will EPCA be in a position to consider any relaxation. Otherwise, the order to ban DG sets with effect from October 15 stands and has to be enforced as per GRAP,” he said. ENS

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