The power distribution companies in the national capital may be penalised and made to compensate consumers for unscheduled power cuts extending up to two hours starting as early as this week, Delhi Power Minister Satyender Jain said today.
Delhi government has also written to the Centre over the damage to a 400KVA tower managed by Power Grid in the Bamnauli area yesterday. Alternative arrangements have been made to bypass the shortfall, Jain said.
The statement on penalties came at a press briefing by Jain, even as reports of outages came in from across the city, including its southern, eastern and northern parts, following a massive dust storm and rains.
“DERC (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission) have been given policy directions to penalise the companies for unscheduled power cuts and it will be implemented this week. Consultations on the draft notification issued last year are over,” Jain said.
Jain attributed the unscheduled outages to “local faults” and singled out BSES for the situation. The discoms did not invest in improving infrastructure since the privatisation of Delhi’s power sector fifteen years ago, he said.
“There’s a tower in Bagnoli of 400KVA capacity built and managed by powergrid. It fell yesterday. We have written to the Centre to probe the incident,” Jain said.
Giving details on Sunday’s power situation, Jain said peak power demand was 5,634 MW, relatively low for it being a Sunday. TPDDL received 752 complaints, while BYPL and BRPL received 2,938 and 3,195 complaints respectively, he said.
Among them, 1,022 complaints were resolved within one hour while 1,541 took two hours. There’s no shortage of power and no scheduled power cuts, he said.
“The discoms have not built inadequate infrastrcuture. They say we have put up cables but whenever there is overload those cables snap as they are of inferior quality. We have directed the companies to arrange mobile transformers,” Jain said.
Delhi’s power demand hit an all-time peak of 6,188 MW on May 20, which officials said may rise further during the month of July when usage of air conditioners will increase as more humidity will make coolers virtually ineffective.