On the first day that diesel generator sets were supposed to be banned in the capital and “vicinity towns” following directions from the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA), Gurgaon’s Deputy Commissioner Tuesday claimed various departments had worked towards enforcing the ban.
On the ground, however, impact of the ban wasn’t particularly evident, with condominiums, offices and malls largely dependent on such generator sets for continuous electricity supply operating as per usual.
“Various departments that are duty bound to ensure the ban is implemented have been supervising it,” said Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri.
In a city suffering from inadequate electrical infrastructure, however, both residents and environmentalists have expressed concern about the practicality of such a ban. This has also been acknowledged by the Haryana government in a letter to the EPCA chairman on October 11, wherein it requested that “reasonable time” be given to Haryana Power Utilities “to provide connections to users who are dependent on generators”.
The government gave two reasons for issues in power supply — lack of installation of proper electrical infrastructure by builders; and lack of “adequate infrastructure/capacity” of Distribution and Transmission licencees in certain sectors, because of which residents largely depend on diesel generators.
Sectors 1-57 come under the former category, where electricity could not be released to occupants because of inadequacies in electrical infrastructure installed by builders and developers. This section includes malls along MG Road, offices in Udyog Vihar and gated condominiums on Golf Course Road.
The latter category includes Sector 58 and beyond, where several residential localities have come up in the past decade. Officials estimate more than 150 housing societies exist in these areas. Here, officials said, residents would be without electricity altogether if DG sets are banned, since the Distribution and Transmission licensees do not have infrastructure to handle the load.
“… A blanket ban would lead to a complete blackout in affected societies/colonies, without there being any back-up. This may also lead to law and order crisis,” warned the Superintendent (Power) in the letter. Khatri said he was unaware of the document.