Crisis: Power Minister Piyush Goyal warns Delhi to brace for more blackouts

Jun 10 2014, 17:21 IST
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BJP minister blames Congress for the Delhi power mess. (PTI) BJP minister blames Congress for the Delhi power mess. (PTI)
SummaryPiyush Goyal spells out govt agenda to stop power cuts and save Delhiites from summer heat.

Residents in capital city Delhi should brace for more power cuts amid scorching summer heat, the country's Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, warning that dilapidated power grids could not cope with the extra electricity needed to meet demand.

North India has endured a heatwave in the last week, with temperatures in some parts of Delhi reaching a 62-year high.

The surge in demand from residents cranking up their air conditioning, and damage to power lines during a recent storm, has overwhelmed the grid, sparking outtages across North India and forcing Delhi to introduce emergency power-saving measures.

Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal, and new and renewable energy, said "inadequate" transmission lines meant Delhi could absorb 400 megawatts of power on top of its existing 5,300 MW, falling short of current peak demand of 5,800 MW.

"Clearly the power grid as it stands today is outdated, needs augmentation and modernisation and may repeatedly have outtages and tripping problems," he told a press conference after meeting with local power officials.

Three weeks after winning a national election on pledges to boost the economy and improve basic services, Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces a big challenge meeting the growing demands for reliable and affordable power and water.

In Uttar Pradesh state, where less than half of homes have power, angry locals set electricity substations on fire and took power company officials hostage at the weekend in protest at the recent blackouts, media reports said.

Goyal said engineers in Delhi were working 24 hours a day to fix broken lines, while the government has ordered GAIL and diverted Dabhol power plant natural gas to provide extra gas to a huge plant near the city functioning at a fifth of its capacity.

Normal power supply to Delhi to be restored in 15 days: Goyal

(PTI) As Delhi reeled under long spells of power outages and scorching summer heat, Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said it will take 15 days to restore normal power supply even as temporary measures to boost generation were put in place.

Goyal said the Centre has drawn up an action plan to ease the power crisis in the city with short-term measures to generate 400 megawatts of additional power by tonight.

Speaking after a two-and-a-half hour emergency meeting with Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and senior executives of Delhi Transco, Power Grid Corporation and power utilities,

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