Discoms to be penalised, consumers compensated: Delhi govt

By: | Published: May 21, 2016 8:57 PM

Under fire over a spate of power outages across the city, with durations stretching up to five hours in many areas of south Delhi...

MarsonsPower Minister Satyender Jain said Delhi was power surplus and was ready to handle load of up to 7,000 MW. He said outages stand at “0.19 per cent but even that is not acceptable”. (Reuters)

Under fire over a spate of power outages across the city, with durations stretching up to five hours in many areas of south Delhi, the Delhi government today hit out at the discoms, who it said would be penalised and made to compensate consumers for unscheduled power cut.

Stressing that the discoms, owned by Reliance Energy and TPDDL, will have to be held accountable, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made it clear that they can’t keep blaming “local faults” for the widespread blackouts afflicting the national capital.

Power Minister Satyender Jain said Delhi was power surplus and was ready to handle load of up to 7,000 MW. He said outages stand at “0.19 per cent but even that is not acceptable”.

Kejriwal has called the discoms for a meeting on Tuesday.

“We have directed the DERC that if any area has unscheduled power cuts and it is not rectified in two hours then people of that area has to be compensated. This policy will be implemented soon so that their accountability is fixed,” Kejriwal told reporters.

Jain attributed the faults to lack of maintenance and inadequate investment to augment infrastructure on the part of the discoms. DERC has been given policy directions to penalise the distribution companies over power cuts and a notification in this regard will be out soon, he said.

The extent of the power crisis in the city became clear through facts shared by Jain in a press conference. Complaints received by the discoms have been rising steadily, he said.

“On May 14 BRPL (BSES Rajdhani Pvt Ltd) received 3,690 complaints and it went up to 5,067 on May 20. BYPL (BSES Yamuna Pvt Ltd) handled 2,613 complaints on May 14 which went up to 4,123 on May 20. The corresponding figures for Tata Power were 856 and 1,241 respectively,” Jain said.

As the city battles an unrelenting heat wave, Delhi’s peak power demand broke all previous records as it hit a staggering 6,188 MW yesterday. A day before it had breached the 6,000 MW mark for the first time.

Despite being a Saturday, when many offices and other establishments remained closed, power demand peaked at 5,833 MW around 2.39 PM today, according to the State Load Despatch Centre.

400 KV Maharani Bagh to 220 KV Lodhi Road Circle at the end of the state-run Delhi Transo Ltd tripped which impacted power supply in parts of South Delhi including South Extension, Defence Colony, Nizamudin, Lajpat Nagar, East of Kailash, Jangpura and adjoining areas.

Jain said the situation may improve in the next two days while admitting that complaints were going unanswered in many occasions and “even calls are not being received properly”.

“The companies have been asked to double their call centre staff and also to also check whether a consumer’s issue has been resolved. We have told them that we will monitor their recordings.

“It seems these discoms have not invested adequately otherwise what explains these local faults?

There’s no shortage of power so these companies will have to correct them otherwise strict action will be taken,” Jain said.

Kejriwal wondered if the capital’s power sector was done to “periodically increase tariff only”. He also said that merely blaiming local faults was not enough as reasons will have to be provided as well.

“I am receiving phone complaints through the night. Many areas of Delhi are facing power cuts. I have kept my eyes fixed on the issue for the last two days. BSES areas are having power power cuts. TPDDL areas are having less snags,” he said.

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