As mercury dipped and dense fog enveloped the city in the New Year, large parts of Delhi also went without power and water with the tripping of the Northern Grid resulting in disruption in water supply.
But the situation could have been worse. For while 36 lines of the Northern Grid had tripped, Delhi remained comparatively better off than the other northern States as only six of these were of Delhi Transco. Nevertheless, the damage was still enough to impact 90 per cent of NDPL area. The BSES areas also experienced a sharp fall in supply but were much better off in comparison.
A major reason why Delhi survived the crash was that most of its critical lines have been provided with polymer coated insulators and they did not trip. In the coming week, such insulators would be installed on the remaining lines as well, sources in Trasnco said.
The power distribution companies resorted to rotational load shedding to minimise the impact of the collapse of the Northern Grid, but this only meant that many far flung and lower economic areas of the city had to bear the brunt of the cuts. While many posh colonies were untouched by the power-cuts, several other areas experienced cuts ranging from one to three hours on an average.
Sources in the discoms said the problem began around midnight and got severely accentuated by around 2-30 p.m. . “In our area there was only about 10 to 15 per cent supply for certain periods of time between 2-30 a.m. and 9 a.m. . Thereafter the situation improved significantly,” said an NDPL spokesperson.
The outage in the northern parts of the city meant that areas like Wazirpur Industrial Area and Shakurpur went without power from 9 p.m. to around 9 a.m. . “During this period there was no power supply in Wazirpur Industrial Area and many of the establishments ran their operations on generators there,” said an area worker.
In Shakurpur, the residents complained that the long power cut also resulted in absence of piped water supply from the Delhi Jal Board till past noon.
The situation was similar in the BSES areas. A resident of Ali Gaon in Badarpur, South Delhi, said there was no power supply from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. . “Due to this we were also unable to pump ground water,” a resident complained.
The discom sources said all the areas under the jurisdiction of BSES were affected by the tripping of the Northern Grid. “Depending on the area, one to three hours of cuts were imposed in different parts.’’
In West Delhi, the areas that went without power included Madipur, Bodela, Bindapur, Matiala, Nangloi and Jafarpur. Similarly in East Delhi, it were Khichripur, Preet Vihar, Shakarpur, Geeta Colony, Karkardooma, Kailash Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Yamuna Park, Shastri Park and their adjoining areas that were the worst hit.
Central Delhi saw power cuts in the Lahori Gate and Jama Masjid areas among others while in South Delhi, the outage impacted Malviya Nagar, Saket, Bijwasan, Palam, Defence Colony and Nizamuddin. The longest cut among the high profile colonies was reported in D-Block, Vasant Kunj where there was no power supply for around five hours from around 5 a.m. .
What appears to have complicated matters is that with the fall in temperature the demand for power also went up with more and more residents resorting to use of electric heaters to beat the heat. Due to the demand going up sharply, many parts of the city also reported local breakdowns.