The New Delhi Municipal Council is planning to approach Union Power Ministry for entering into a “saving deal” for purchasing less electricity during the winters.
As per its current agreement with the Delhi Transco Limited (DTL), NDMC purchases approximately same amount of electricity throughout the year.
“As the usages varies widely in summers and winters, we will approach the ministry for giving us some flexibility and revising the current agreement. I would pitch for two slots from October to April and March to September,” NDMC Chairman Jalaj Srivastava said.
Till 2005, NDMC was supplying electricity in its areas according to its own format which allowed surplus power to be sold at the best prevalent rate.
But that system was done away with by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and surplus electricity is now sold to discoms at lower rate compared to the purchase rate.
The NDMC suffered a loss of Rs 150 crore last year by selling off surplus power at rates lower that at what it had bought it.
The Union Home Ministry had last year pulled up NDMC for “mismanagement”, pointing at losses sustained by its power department and the failure of the civic body to check unregulated ‘teh bazaari’ or street vending, in areas under its jurisdiction.
“I will be taking up the issue with the ministry in April. The major hurdle lies with the difference between the buying and the selling cost and as there is likely to be no flexibility in the rates at which the NDMC can sell off the surplus electricity, we will seek a revision in the agreement on buying power,” Srivastava added.
Sharing the details of the current agreement, Kumar Hrishikesh, financial advisor, NDMC, said, “The civic body buys approximately 380 MW of electricity per day but the usage in winter months is limited to 150 MW per day.”
“NDMC also has to maintain a surplus of 30 MW every day to provide uninterrupted supply to the VVIP zone under its jurisdiction but that amount is also not fully utilised,” he added.
Unlike the rest of Delhi, electricity and water distribution is with NDMC in its areas and the electricity tariff is comparatively low. For consumption up to 200 units, residents of areas governed by NDMC pay Rs 3.25 whereas it is Rs 4 in the rest of Delhi.
“That is where the bone of contention lies as we are compelled to sell it at lower rates and hence the losses. If the proposed arrangement gets approved, we will not run into losses,” Hrishikesh said.
The civic agency had also decided on Friday to give 50 per cent tariff reduction on consumption of electricity up to 400 units and provide 20 kilolitres of water free to all households in NDMC areas.