Snapping power supply to shopping malls after 10 PM and switching off street lights during peak hours were some of the urgent measures ordered today by the Delhi government as the city continued to suffer long outages with the mercury crossing the 45 degrees Celsius mark.
Areas across the national capital faced blackouts of up to seven hours as major power transmission lines damaged by the devastating storm 10 days back could not be restored by Delhi Transco Ltd, the Delhi Government utility tasked to maintain the major transmission network.
Appealing people to bear with the situation, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asked citizens to come forward and help conserve energy by running their air-conditioners at 25 degree centigrade or above and take all measures at home and offices to save electricity.
"The Government is aware of the hardship being faced by the people and continues to take all steps to ease the situation. It appeals to the people to avoid agitational modes that often hamper restoration process wherever faults appear," the LG's office said in a statement.
At a meeting Jung held with top government officials and CEOs private power distribution companies, the Lt Governor ordered that power supply to shopping malls should not be made available after 10 PM.
It was also decided that high mast halogen lamps in the streets, which consume more power, will be switched off during night peak hours to conserve energy.
Government establishments, including Delhi Secretariat and other government offices, universities, colleges have been advised to switch off air conditioning between 3.30 to 4.30 PM to conserve power during day peak hours.
This does not include emergency services and critical institutions such as hospitals etc.
Officials said that the damage caused to three main 220kV Transmission Lines of Delhi Transco in the storm was the main reason behind the long outages.
They said that the breakdown of the 220kV Badarpur-Noida- Ghazipur line of UP Transmission Company Ltd on June 7 had also complicated the situation.
"Continuing heat wave conditions has enhanced the demand for electricity in the city and has resulted in further strains on the already stressed transmission and distribution system," the officials said.
They said that Delhi was able to meet a peak demand of 5,152MW yesterday and the highest-ever consumption of 109.206 Million Units.
Jung has ordered power distribution companies to strengthen their call centres by increasing the number of lines and deploying additional staff so that there is better communication with the public.
Whenever there is inadequate supply, power distribution companies will announce a schedule informing people about the timings for power cuts. Discoms are working out a schedule which will be shared with the public, officials said.
In the appeal, the Lt Governor said that the city is trying to cope with the damage caused to the towers and lines in the storm. He said that the power demand has increased due to the heat wave conditions prevailing in the city.
As power cuts continued, people took to the streets in some areas of West and North Delhi.
The Congress slammed BJP for the situation and accused the seven BJP MPs in the city of doing nothing to address the problem.
Chief Spokesperson of DPCC, Mukesh Sharma, said Congress will gherao the residences of the BJP MPs if the situation does not improve soon.
Aam Aadmi Party also targeted BJP, saying its government at the Centre was doing nothing to address the problem.
Several areas of the city also faced water shortage as operations at a number of water treatment plans was affected due to outages.