As Delhi continues to reel under load-shedding, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday assured Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of uninterrupted power supply to the city during festive season.
Mr. Shinde gave the assurance when Ms. Dikshit called on him seeking supply of full quota of power from central sector generation plants of NTPC which has been curtailed due to shortage of coal.
“The Power Minister assured uninterrupted power supply to Delhi during festive season,” she said after the meeting.
Meanwhile, various areas of the city continued to face power cuts in the range of one to three hours, although the situation has improved marginally since Thursday.
Delhi, along with various parts of the country, has been facing long outages for over one week primarily because of cut in power supply in the range of 400 to 1,100 MW from various central sector power stations.
Many plants of NTPC are running below capacity levels due to paucity of coal. A slew of factors, including floods in Orissa and Telangana agitation, have hit coal supplies to power plants.
Ms. Dikshit said Mr. Shinde assured her of all possible steps to provide adequate power supply to the city but it may take few days before the situation returns to normal.
“He said that gradual improvement in coal stock has improved generation of power at various plants,” she said.
Ms. Dikshit was accompanied by Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf and Principal Secretary, Power, Parimal Rai.
The Chief Minister also told Mr. Shinde that the situation had become more difficult for Delhi due to overdrawing of power by neighbouring Uttar Pradesh from the Northern Grid forcing the city to underdraw power against its allocated quota to maintain frequency of the grid and requested him to look into the matter.
To this, Mr. Shinde said all necessary measures will be taken to ensure grid discipline.
In the meeting, Ms. Dikshit also sought allocation of gas for the 1,500 MW capacity gas-based power plant in Bawana as the plant could not be commissioned after Reliance Industries’ refused to supply gas.
Ms. Dikshit said Mr. Shinde assured expediting process of allocation of gas to the plant, built at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore.
The Reliance Industries Ltd refused to supply gas to Bawana power plant following delay in its commissioning. Delhi government in July had approached the Prime Minister’s Office seeking its intervention in getting supply of gas to the plant.
The Centre had allocated 0.93 million cubic meters per day of gas (mmcmd) from Reliance’s Andhra offshore KG-D6 fields for the Bawana plant for 2009-10 and 2010-11.
However, Delhi government could not sign the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement with Reliance Industries Ltd due to delay in the Bawana project and the gas was allocated to other entities by RIL. The RIL sells KG—D6 gas to users like fertiliser units and power plants at government-fixed rate of $ 4.2 per million British Thermal Unit.
The city government had already conveyed to the Centre that it will not be able to afford imported fuel which will cost three times the price of Reliance gas.