'Delhi power tariff much less than other cities'

Seeking to justify the recent hike in power tariff, the Delhi government said the sector should be looked at ‘realistically’ as the cost of raw materials have increased and that tariff in the capital is ‘much less’ than those in other major cities.

‘Unless the power sector is looked at realistically, the situation in the sector will not improve. The cost of raw materials have increased. The price of coal has increased,’ Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said.

He said there are no frequent power cuts in the capital, while its satellite cities like Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad goes without power for ‘12-13 hours’ a day.

‘There is a lot of improvement in power sector in the last 10 years. The power tariff in Delhi is much lesser than what people pay in Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata. The tariff here is very less. Still, there is 24-hour power supply here. Sometimes, one has to pay Rs 6-8 for a unit of power because electricity supply is there for 24 hours. There are no power cuts. Take the example of other places like Gurgaon, Faridabad and Ghaziabad where there is a power cut of 12-13 hours,’ Yusuf said at the 10th Foundation Day of Delhi Power Company Limited and Delhi Transco Limited.

The minister also congratulated the firms and discoms for meeting the power demand that rose to an all-time high of 5,600 MW this summer.

Yusuf’s comments assume significance in the wake of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission effecting a steep hike in power tariffs last month. The move was widely criticised by all sections.  The minister also asked the power generation and distribution companies to look at the ‘negative aspects’ that were raised by public during this summer like faulty lines and sub-stations not working properly.

‘These challenges will have to be met. There is certainly improvement but we need to rectify our faults as well. The goal should be that there should not be any problems for people with regard to electricity,’ he said.

Yousuf said the Bawana Power Plant will start functioning soon and that gas supply has been restored to it. He also said efforts will be taken to speed up opening of the second plant as well.

He said Delhi’s power demand in 2002 was 2,000 MW which has increased to more than 5,600 MW on Tuesday.

Shakti Sinha, Principal Secretary [Power], said the Bawana Plant will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit later this month. He also said the power generations firms have started giving dividends to the government.

Yousuf said the proposed regularisation of 1,800 unauthorised colonies in the capital will also ‘add pressure’ on the discoms as power consumption there would also be high. He also asked the power distribution companies to be prepared for the challenge.
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