New Delhi: Facing strong criticism for the power crisis in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday sternly asked the power distribution companies to improve the situation in four days.
"The government has told BSES in plain words to make the power situation normal within four days and treat the present situation as their internal emergency. BSES has also been asked to purchase power at whatever rate it is available to meet the gap between demand and availability to provide relief to the consumers," said an official statement of the Delhi government.
The statement was issued after an emergency meeting of senior officials of the Delhi government and the power provider BSES at Dikshit's official residence here to discuss ongoing outages, particularly in localities under BSES.
"BSES has been given four days to make substantial and visible improvement, otherwise the government would be forced to take strict action," the statement said.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, Principal Secretary to chief minister P.K. Tripathi, Power Secretary Rajender Kumar, BSES chairman Lalit Jalan and BSES CEO Arun Kanchan.
The meeting came after Congress president Sonia Gandhi called Dikshit and asked her to take quick and effective steps to control the situation.
"Jalan was summoned to personally intervene in the matter," the statement said.
Dikshit has specifically asked BSES to improve their system of redressal, stick to load-shedding as per announced schedule, increase their staff to take care of break-downs, ensure proper coordination with the department of power and display information about break-down, duration of power cut and expected time of bringing normalcy by inserting scrolls on local TV Channels and cable TV network.
"Apart from this the department of power has been directed to monitor SCADA (Supervising Control and Acquisition of Data) system of the BSES to immediately take corrective measures. This would go a long way in implementing power cut schedule and enhance response time. It was also underlined that power cut duration should not go beyond an hour at a time," said the statement.
Dikshit stated that improvement must be visible and should enhance satisfaction level of the consumers.
"Now we will get 150 MW from the central pool. In addition, the Mandola power station, which was not working properly, will now give Delhi 300-325 MW. So there should be relief," Dikshit told reporters after the meeting.
The power from the central pool is expected to be available within the next two-three hours, officials said.
"The BSES would also take all possible measures to rectify local faults within shortest possible time so that its response time could improve substantially," it said.
A Delhi government official said: "It was said in the meeting that the BSES has not been getting its booked share of power from Uttarakhand. It was also stated that the demand of power of this year has gone up 15 percent whereas there was only 8.5 percent anticipated. The BSES has been advised to correctly anticipate increase in demand."
Meanwhile, the power situation in Delhi improved a little Sunday.
"The power situation improved in Delhi today (Sunday) as most of the offices were closed. The peak demand Sunday was 3957 MW and the load sheding was around 200 MW," said a senior officer of the Delhi Transco Limited.
The peak demand Saturday reached the highest mark of 4,218 MW.
In the past few days, most parts of the capital city have faced prolonged power outages of up to 10 hours a day when the mercury went above 43 degrees Celsius, leaving the people sweating and fuming. Residents have also held several protest demonstrations across the city.