BSES slipped in power procurement, say experts
|'Instead of bailing out Delhi by purchasing power, the company has taken refuge behind low generation'|
'Delhi's share from the hydro-power stations is a mere 10 per cent'
'The company has faltered in reserving power transmission lines'
NEW DELHI: Delayed monsoon and high demand for power in the entire North India are not the only reasons for Delhi being in the midst of an acute power crisis right now. Industry experts assert that power distribution company BSES that supplies power to two-thirds of the city has slipped in making arrangements for the summer.
While the company claims it has been "unlucky", given the delay in the monsoon that has adversely affected the hydro-power generation it was banking on, experts counter the argument citing transaction details that indicate the discoms made "little effort to secure power".
Based on reports from the power exchange, sources told The Hindu that the company instead of bailing out the city by purchasing expensive power has taken refuge behind the low generation of hydro-power and an otherwise high demand for power in the Northern Region.
"If you look at the records of the past few days, BSES has been selling power through the power exchange, but there is not a single transaction which indicates that the company bought any power," say sources.
From June 22 to June 27, the company has at different times sold 7.8 MW to as much as 50 MW of power through the exchange. "Purchasing power through the exchange at a time when the demand is high means shelling out a lot of money. Yesterday the closing rates at the power exchange were between Rs.12.50 and Rs.13, the company quoted far less, totally aware that when the demand is more the prices are obviously higher," sources say.
Experts also challenge the BSES claims that the low generation of hydro-power has affected the supply. "Delhi's share from the hydro-power stations is a mere 10 per cent. The Tehri and Chamera power plants are the only one that are generating less; the rest of the plants are performing as per their scheduled capacities. Also, the company has faltered in reserving power transmission lines, which means even if they had the power, they could not transfer it," explain sources.
Coerced into taking action after widespread protests over the rampant power cuts in the city, the Delhi Government has now directed the discoms to clean up their act. "BSES has been told that they have to procure 150 MW of power on a day-ahead basis from the power exchange no matter what the price. Also, they have to ensure that their complaint centres are manned and equipped with the correct and the latest information on the power situation and ensure that load-shedding, whenever required, is evenly carried out," say sources.
Reacting to charges that the company has failed to procure power by not having made bilateral tie-ups and not shelling out money to buy expensive power, a BSES official said: "The company had made all arrangements to procure 3,000 MW of power for its area as per the Government's assessment of the demand going up to 4,500 MW this year. It is plain bad luck that the monsoon crisis occurred."
"We had made banking arrangements with several States including Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Uttaranchal. Also, emergency arrangements for up to 350 MW with co-generation plants in Himachal Pradesh and Maithaon were made," he added.
He also denied that the company had not booked open access for transmission of power.
The Hindu, 28 June!