The biggest of these, the 1,500 MW Bawana power plant, able to produce only up to 320 MW when fully functional, is in "shutdown" mode due to non-availability of gas.

While the demand for power is expected to go up to around 6,200 MW this peak summer, non-availability of natural gas is hampering production in power plants of the Capital.

Of the city’s six power plants, four are gas-fired, two have been shutdown due to lack of gas and the remaining two are functioning at only a fraction of their capacity.

The biggest of these, the 1,500 MW Bawana power plant, able to produce only up to 320 MW when fully functional, is in “shutdown” mode due to non-availability of gas. It has not been playing the crucial role it was supposed to in meeting the city’s power demand – which had touched a staggering 5,653 MW last summer.

The Delhi Government’s failure to arrange a reliable source of fuel supply to the plant also poses a serious question on its ability to make power cheaper and affordable.

Power discom officials told The Hindu that instead of becoming a reliable option for cheap and affordable source of power generation, the Bawana plant has become more of a “liability” due to its erratic functioning and high cost of power generation.

The three power distribution companies -- TPDDL, BYPL and BRPL -- have not been sourcing power from the Bawana plant this season because power from other plants is available at cheaper rates.

“Its erratic functioning makes the plant irregular and an unreliable option for us and in turn also raises the cost of power generation because of which we cannot take power from this plant,” said a discom official.

“Our priority is to buy power at cheap and reasonable rates. The problem with the Bawana plant is that till the time regular supply of sufficient gas needed to run it to its full strength is arranged, the plant will continue to be a liability for the department,” said the official.

However, if the Delhi Government is able to run the plant to its full capacity on a regular basis, the Bawana plant can emerge as a ‘reliable’ option for the Delhi discoms, said the official.

Like the plant at Bawana, even the Tata Power-owned 108 MW plant in Rithala has become non-functional due to non-availability of gas.

According to Delhi Transco officials. the proposed 750 MW power plant at Bamnauli has not materialised because the government is unable to arrange gas supply for it. “Only some ground work has been done but the construction of the plant is yet to begin,” said a Transco official.

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