The Delhi Government has saved nearly Rs.30,000 crore due to power privatisation and this money has been invested in improving the infrastructure. This has resulted in meeting the peak power demand of up to 6,250 MW and minimal power cuts despite the average annual per capita power consumption in the Capital being 1,450 units, almost twice the national average, Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said while replying to a debate in the Delhi Assembly on Thursday.
The Minister said the days of inverters, diesel generator sets and power riots were now history as due to privatisation Delhi was now getting quality power round the clock. “Even the Supreme Court had on November 23 this year appreciated the power scenario in Delhi and acknowledged the results from the sector’s privatisation.” he said.
Mr. Yusuf said Delhi has come a long way from the BJP rule of 1993-98 when power outages were a norm. This despite the fact that the demand then was only around 2,800 MW. While expressing satisfaction with the overall scenario, Mr. Yusuf cautioned the discoms to take steps and stop harassment of consumers in the name of tampered meters and through inflated bills.
The Minister said the Delhi Government saved an amount of Rs.30,000 crore which would have been otherwise paid to the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board if privatisation had not taken place. “The amount has since been utilised for infrastructure development.”
Island facility for Delhi
Mr. Yusuf said that to prevent blackouts in Delhi due to “gross indiscipline” by other States connected to the National Grid, the Delhi Government had approached the Union Power Ministry to provide an islanding facility for Delhi. “This is the biggest achievement of the Government, and will go a long way in ensuring uninterrupted power supply.” From 893 million units in 2000-01 the load shedding has dropped to just 74 MU.
The Minister also noted that following privatisation the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses have been reduced substantially.
As for the Delhi Jal Board, he said there was no move to privatise it. With regards to the supply of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), he said, the Delhi Government has announced that it will provide subsidy on its side for three extra cylinders to below poverty line families under the kerosene-free Delhi scheme.
Earlier initiating the debate, Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Mukesh Sharma said 99.1 per cent of Delhi has electricity connections. He also noted that while 1,500 power riots were registered between 1993-98, there have been none in the last 14 years.
On the supply of water, he said, the Government was now supplying over 800 million gallons per day of water, 35 new underground reservoirs have been constructed and the number of connections increased from 12 lakh to 18 lakh. While 3,600 old waterlines have been replaced, the sewage treatment capacity has also been enhanced from 335 to 545 MGD.