The Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) has entered into an agreement with the Tatas to purchase electricity from its power production plan in Mumbai to meet the escalated demand during this winter.
But serious problems have emerged in transferring the power from Western Grid to Northern grid and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has sought the help of Union power Minister Suresh Prabhu to sort out this problem.
State Power Minister Ajay Maken told The Pioneer that serious bottlenecks were encountered in the power purchase as the Western grid was unwilling to allow the sale and transfer of power to the Northern grid.
Northern grid is the bulk supplier of power to Delhi. “Despite the concurrence of supply by the Tatas, several bottlenecks have emerged in the supply of power.
We are requesting the Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu to intervene and exercise his influence to ensure power supply to Delhi,” said Mr. Maken.
“There is specific reason why Tata agreed to provide power to Delhi. While we are purchasing power in peak hour at high cost, we are also in a position to provide power to Mumbai in offpeak hours. Delhi is in a position to pay better price for purchasing electricity," he added.
Sources said that Mr. Prabhu also raised the issue of non-payment of Rs.3,700 crore which is due on the Delhi Government.
He stressed the need for a separate meeting with the Chief Minister and the State Power Minister next week to sort out the problem and also the need to bring down Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses.
In the next meeting, all the six private companies willing to take over Delhi’s power distribution system will also participate to discuss the issues of their concern.
Chief Secretary P S Bhatnagar said that the Union Power Minister appreciated the steps taken by the Delhi Government to initiate the privatisation process of Delhi Vidyut Board. “Centre wants Delhi to become a role model so that other states could emulate this process to privatise their own electricity boards," said Mr. Bhatnagar.
Mr. Maken said, “ We requested the Power Minister to waive liability to the tune of Rs.12,937 crore accrued till the year 1997… Delhi government is ready to share the remaining burden of Rs. 8,000 crore from 1997 to 2001,” said Mr. Maken.
On the other hand, Union Power Minister also underlined the need for holding separate meetings with the finance minister Yashwant Sinha and Planning Commission Vice-chairperson KC Pant to augment the DVB’s privatisation process.
Meanwhile, the DVB has decided to purchase power from Punjab and Rajasthan to meet the demand in the winter.
“We are expecting that the Pragati Power Project will also commence in mid-January and thus we will have 110 MW power available from this project,” said Mr. Maken adding that remaining two units of Pragati Power project will become operational by the end of 2002.