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JUN 10 2014

India has power surplus; distribution causing Delhi crisis, says government

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Tue 10th JUN 2014

Even as the national capital reels under severe power-cuts, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power on Monday said that the country has surplus power, but distribution is a problem. "I have been on top of it (the situation) all through the last week. We have studied the situation. It is so sad that we have surplus power. I am ready to give as much power as Delhi requires as we speak," Goyal told Times Now.

"But, Delhi has not invested in the last 10-15 years on transmission and distribution. The country today and Delhi particularly is facing the situation of having power, but not being able to distribute it to the people of India," Goyal said.

Goyal went on to blame the Congress government for not investing in transmission and distribution. "That (the power problem)has risen because for the last decade we have not invested in transmission and distribution, which was the pressing need of India," he said. "My government is reaping what mess the Congress has sowed over the last few years," he added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Sunday instructed authorities to switch off high-mast halogen street lamps for a few hours every day and cut power supply to malls after 10 pm, aspart of a plan to stabilise the rolling blackouts in the city. At a time when North India is in the grip of an extreme heat wave, power supply to several parts of Delhi has become erratic following last month's thunderstorm, which caused disruption in the electricity transmission network.

Against a peak demand of 5,600 MW on weekends, power distribution companies in the city are able to supply only 5,150 MW. State authorities did not disclose for how long the power-saving measures would be in place, but executives at BSES Yamuna , BSES Rajdhani and Tata Power Delhi , the national capital's power distribution companies, said the situation would improve with a drop in temperature.

The decision was taken after the state government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung met executives of state-run Delhi Transco and electricity distribution companies over the weekend. "The government is aware of the hardship being faced by the people and continues to take all steps to ease the situation," the government said in a statement, adding, "It appeals to the people to avoid agitation modes that often hamper restoration process wherever faults appear." At the meeting, the power distribution companies sought security for their offices, saying some of their executives and offices had been attacked by irate mobs.

Distribution companies were forced to cut power supply in several areas in the city following Delhi Transco's inability to repair transmission network lines damaged in the May 30 thunderstorm. Delhi Transco's overstretched transmission system became further strained as the temporary arrangements got overloaded. The thunderstorm lowered the temperature but knocked off three main transmission lines of Delhi Transco.

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Delhi Minister of State Stakeholders Empowerment Services Delhi government Power Tata Power India

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