Staff Reporter

A number of causes leading to the present crisis

NEW DELHI: With no answer in sight to the continuing power and water crisis in the Capital, the top bureaucracy went into the meeting mode on Thursday. First Delhi Chief Secretary R. Narayanswami had a meeting with Principal Secretary Power Rakesh Mehta and CEO of Delhi Jal Board Arun Mathur and then Mr Mehta convened a meeting with distribution company officials to find a way out.

At the meeting called by Mr Narayanswami it was observed that the reduced availability of power was due to a number of causes. These included the non-functioning of a 210 MW unit of the Badarpur Thermal Power Station as well as problems with sources of power outside Delhi.

In this connection, the Chief Secretary also spoke to the Union Power Secretary R.V. Shahi and requested for his intervention in securing power from alternate sources as the shortages were likely to prevail for some more days. Senior discom officials have also been asked to carefully regulate any load-shedding they may be forced to resort to during this period.

Since water supply is also dependent on power availability at the pumping station, it was stated that efforts are being made to insulate water treatment plants at Bhagirathi, Okhla, Chandrawal, Haiderpur, Nangloi and Wazirabad from power interruptions and also to install diesel generator sets at booster pumping stations in residential colonies.

As for the power situation, sources said till the time there are rains in Delhi, the peak demand would continue to be around 3,500 MW to 3,700 MW and with the supply being around 3,000 MW, a gap of about 20 per cent would remain. "This means that the citizens have to bear with between four and six hours of load-shedding every day."

On Thursday, the peak demand was 3,568 MW, about 60 MW higher than the peak demand on Wednesday when there was a peak load shedding of 686 MW due to shortage in supply of power. Of this there was 482 MW load-shedding by BSES and 198 MW by NDPL due to low frequency and to restrict overdrawal from the grid.

Since BSES areas are the worst affected it is primarily East Delhi and South Delhi which are bearing the brunt of the power cuts. Colonies in both these areas again experienced long cuts ranging from an hour to three hours in two or three slots on Thursday.

And there is little respite in store as the 210 MW Badarpur unit would not become operational before August 17, a 67.5 MW Rihand Power House which is closed due to overhauling would only become available after July 20 and a 44 MW unit of Singrauli will only become operational after July 31. As such, 300 MW of scheduled power supply would not be available to Delhi in the near future.