Infuriated by complaints of persistent power cuts, particularly from East Delhi, an angry Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday lashed out at the power distribution companies, asking them to shape up or face consequences.
Chairing a review meeting, she admonished BRPL, BYPL and Tata Power for failing to arrange power for the city and criticised them for citing fuel shortages and local faults as excuses to carry out load shedding.
“The Chief Minister was very annoyed with the performance of the discoms, which have been unable to meet the demand for power this winter, especially when the peak load has not even crossed 3,400 MW. She told the discoms, especially BYPL to take immediate steps to ensure adequate power supply is sourced for the city,” said an official who was present at the meeting.
The discoms have been asked to augment their services and improve the mechanisms to anticipate power demand, so that the required quantum of power is purchased and tie-ups are in order.
“Before the onset of winter, all three discoms had claimed to have made adequate power arrangements, but there have been a spate of complaints from consumers, particularly in East Delhi about outages over several hours everyday. Consumers from some areas even complained that there had been no power for days on account of local faults. This really, upset the Chief Minister who’s now given a warning to the discoms to improve their services,” the official said.
The Chief Minister is also learnt to have ticked off the discoms for not responding to consumer complaints and the senior officials being unavailable during the crises.
“While chairing a meeting to discuss an action plan for uninterrupted power supply in Delhi, Ms. Dikshit has now instructed the companies and the Delhi Transco Limited to complete the work of capacity additions by February. They have also been asked to strictly adhere to the deadline, failing, which the situation may take a turn for the worse during the ensuing summer.
The Chief Minister has also cautioned the discoms that any laxity in securing power for the city for use during the summer months will not be tolerated and there will be repercussions,” said the official.
The Chief Minister also expressed concern over the deficiencies in the maintenance and operation of street-lights in the city. She said it is the sole responsibility of the discoms to ensure that the roads are well lit at night and all complaints of malfunctioning are immediately attended to.
“Ms. Dikshit criticised the discoms for failing to maintain the street lights despite the technological interventions like a SCADA system. She said the city government will also get a social audit of street light functioning carried out soon,” the official said.
A review meeting has been scheduled for February to assess the extent of improvement. The Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary (Power) have been asked to monitor the power situation.