Power to malls will be cut after 10 p.m. and government offices will shut their air-conditioners off when temperature peaks in the afternoons. These are a few of the guidelines laid down by Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung after a meeting with Chief Secretary S.K. Srivastava, chief executives of the power distribution companies and senior officials of the Power Department and Delhi Transco.

Mr. Jung read out the Riot Act after several parts of the Capital were blacked out on Saturday night due to high demand and inadequate power infrastructure that still has not recovered after the storm on May 30. The guidelines include turning off high mast halogen lamps between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Discoms will also have to publicly declare a schedule of power cuts and increase staff at the call centres to deal with complaints.

“He told the discoms to ensure that no load shedding takes place for more than an hour at a stretch and not more than twice a day even in the worst affected areas. They have been asked to put out information prior to load shedding in public domain,” an official at the L-G’s Secretariat told The Hindu.

An excess load of about 400 MW led to power cuts on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. This was mainly due to the damage caused to three 220 kV lines of Delhi Transco. Two have been restored and a third has been temporarily put back into operation, while the main line is undergoing restoration. Temporary arrangements are also getting overloaded and this was enhanced by the failure of the 220 kV Badarpur-Noida-Ghazipur line of the Uttar Pradesh Transmission Company.

Excess load, which corresponds to increasing atmospheric temperature, has made areas such as Uttam Nagar, Dwarka, Ghazipur, Mayur Vihar, Geeta Colony, Daryaganj and the Walled City vulnerable to cuts.

The Congress has objected to switching off high consumption halogen lamps. “The decision of switching off streetlights during the night is not a wise decision as it could create law and order problems in some parts of the city,” said Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Mukesh Sharma.

(with inputs from Vishal Kant)

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