Ministry promises better days ahead for power-less Delhi

With large parts of the national capital continuing to suffer from frequent power outage, the Centre on Tuesday promised all help and hoped that the situation would improve by Wednesday.

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who attended a two-and-half-hour meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and senior executives of Delhi Transco, the Power Grid Corporation and power utilities, told reporters that all required help would be given to Delhi from the Centre for restoration of normal power supply.

The Centre has also ordered Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail) to provide extra natural gas to power plants in the national capital as  acute scarcity of water was also reported from various areas of the city following the power crisis.

The load-shedding has ranged from one to five hours in several areas of East, West and South Delhi as a number of major power transmission lines are yet to be fully restored after they were damaged by a storm 10 days ago.

Power ministry officials said the situation is likely to improve by Wednesday as the Centre has drawn up an action plan to make available 400 megawatts of additional power, which Goyal later confirmed.

However, the minister has also warned that dilapidated power grids might not be able to not cope with the extra electricity supply needed to meet demand.

The power ministry officials  said the Delhi Transco Ltd—a Delhi government entity responsible for maintenance of major transmission lines—has partially repaired the 220-kV Bawana-Rohini line, which would result in improvement of power supply to areas in West and East Delhi by Tuesday night.

The officials added that a number of transmission lines and towers maintained by the Power Grid Corporation are yet to be restored. 

Maintaining that there was no shortage of power in Delhi, they said outages are taking place because of snags in the transmission network.

Inadequate transmission lines mean Delhi could absorb 400 MW of power on top of its existing 5,300 MW, falling short of its current peak demand of 5,800 MW.

Despite working on war-footing to remedy the problems, Goyal said it would take 15 days to restore normal power supply as several transmission lines had been damaged in last week's storm.

The Central government has also decided to divert natural gas from the Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra to stations in the national capital to help produce an additional 218 MW of electricity.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also spoken with Jung, asking him to take immediate steps for early resolution of the problem.

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