Power is no more an election issue in Delhi

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on May 02, 2019 Published on May 02, 2019

In May last year, an additional subsidy of ₹100 was offered to consumers with a monthly consumption under 100 units

With no peak power deficit and load shedding down to less than a fourth of what it used to be, power may not be an issue in Delhi for the Lok Sabha elections.

The State goes to polls on May 12. Even in unauthorised colonies near less prominent bordering regions such as Gokalpuri, getting an electricity connection is not a problem for residents.

Power tariffs, too, have remained flat-lined during this period and the Aam Aadmi Party-led State government had provisioned 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption below 400 units for domestic consumers. This subsidy covers nearly 80 per cent of all consumers in the State and worked well with the residents of East Delhi which has a higher percentage of the migrant population.

In May last year, an additional subsidy of ₹100 was offered to consumers with a monthly consumption under 100 units.

To sweeten the deal, the State government also framed a penalty on power distribution companies for unscheduled load shedding. But this has been on hold after a Delhi High Court order earlier this year ruled that the due process of law was not followed while formulating this provision.

According to the data shared by the State Load Despatch Centre, Delhi’s peak demand during the financial year 2017-2018 was 6526 MW. The State reported a surplus of 125 MW. Comparably, during the financial year 2013-2014, the peak demand stood at 5653 MW, but there was a shortage of 355 MW.

During the financial year 2018-2019, Delhi’s peak power demand broke previous records and on July 10, 2018, it touched 7016 MW.

Delhi’s peak power demand is substantially more than that of several cities and States, according to a power distribution company (DISCOM).

‘Not fully satisfied’

The consumers are not fully satisfied with the power supply as instances of overcharging are being reported to the grievance cells of DISCOMs and consumers are seldom satisfied with the responses.

“I had recently opted for a commercial electricity connection for a small shop. But the bill has been substantive. Initially, I was suggested to opt for a regular connection, and then I was told that a prepaid meter had to be installed. I was heavily charged for these changes and now I have to bear a much higher monthly cost even though my consumption is quite low,” a stationery shop owner said.

The metering issue is going to persist in the city for a while.

“In Delhi, around 50 lakh meters would need to be replaced. Cost of a typical smart meter is 6-8 times more than that of the meters being installed today,” the DISCOM official said.


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Published on May 02, 2019
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