Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta on Thursday convened a meeting of chief executive officers of the Capital’s power distribution companies and directed them to take all possible steps to ensure that the power consumers are not put to any inconvenience.

The meeting came a day after rioting in the Nangloi area of West Delhi over erratic power supply.

It was mentioned during the meeting that since all Northern States had been drawing heavily from the power grid to meet their additional demand, particularly in the wake of deficient rain, an immense strain had been put on the grid. Since the frequency often dipped below the dangerous level of 48 Hz, power supply got disrupted due to automatic tripping of the under-frequency relays.

There were as many as 15 under-frequency relay operations on Wednesday alone and this resulted in a great deal of inconvenience to power consumers across Delhi. However, the discoms said they have been following the directions of the Delhi Government and purchasing whatever power was available.

The discoms claimed that power had been bought by them at even Rs.14 and Rs.15 per unit and in one case even at Rs.17 per unit, while it was being supplied to consumers at rates varying between Rs.2 and Rs.4 per unit.

With numerous complaints still being received, the Chief Secretary called upon the discoms to ensure that the issue of consumer satisfaction is not overlooked and adequate power is available to meet the citizens’ needs.

He instructed the discoms to ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers as far as possible. However, they have been told that if necessary, load-shedding may be resorted to on a rotational basis and should not be of more than one hour. In exceptional cases, it should not extend beyond two hours.

With there being just two spells of rain of around two to three hours each in Delhi this monsoon season so far, it was mentioned that due to the heat and humidity the demand for power had shot up by around 20 per cent and on some days even by up to 30 per cent compared with the corresponding period in previous years.

The discoms also stated that since there was deficient rain and the prolonged dry spell was accompanied by high temperature and humidity, the demand was bound to be high. The power situation, they said, had deteriorated because hydro-power generation had also declined due to failure of the monsoon. The difficulty in obtaining adequate power was a cause of the load-shedding that was taking place in some areas.

The meeting convened by the Chief Secretary came two days after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit chaired a high-level meeting with the discoms and other power companies. It also called upon the citizens to conserve power and noted that even a 10 per cent reduction in consumption would help tide over the current problem and ensure power in all households.

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